Kate Phillips knew she wanted to become an actress at the age of thirteen when she played in her school play. This moment marked an important step for her as it was what pushed her to find her dream, her passion, and later on her career. Her most recent project, Miss Scarlet and the Duke, premieres on Jan 17 on PBS Masterpiece and we can’t wait to see her performance! Stay tuned!!

Was there a specific moment in your life when you realized you wanted to pursue acting as a career? 

I was in a school play around the age of 13 that had a huge impact on me. It was the whole process I loved; from the rehearsals to finally sharing it with an audience. It was amazing to work towards something that we all cared about. None of the social dynamics, that were so difficult to navigate in the rest of your life, seemed to matter because you all had this shared commitment. It’s still one of my favorite things about acting. Some amazing friendships are made this way.

What is your favorite memory from working on Miss Scarlet and The Duke, on or off set? 

There are too many to mention! But sitting in the makeup trailer every morning at the crack of dawn brings back very happy memories. Those few hours with Eileen (hair designer) and Clare (makeup designer) were always filled with gorgeous chat and excellent playlists. You’d always leave feeling brighter about your day.

Is there something you are most excited for the fans to see in the show?

I can’t wait for people to see how fun it is. It’s such a charming and witty show and I think the fun we had putting it together is so evident throughout. The show explores some really interesting themes with a huge deal of depth but always with a bit of comedy thrown in.

How are you most like your character Eliza? How are you different? 

I’m sure I’ve got a bit of Eliza in me somewhere. She’s pretty feisty and impassioned about things – qualities I certainly admire. But when you realise she’s all that in the context of a Victorian London you begin to really appreciate how kick-ass and awesome she is. I don’t know if I could be so brave. I think that’s what makes her such a great character.

What is your process like preparing for a role? 

It completely differs from one role to the next. I always want to know my lines really solidly in advance. That might sound obvious but it’s harder than you think. I find it’s the best way of understanding your journey and it helps to throw up questions early on. It’s helpful for getting under the skin of a character and understanding their rhythms.

If you weren’t acting, what job would you have right now?

In a dream world I would obviously be a professional dancer on UK show Strictly Come Dancing (our version of Dancing With The Stars). But in the real world, I would feel very fortunate to still be working in the world of theatre, film and television. I actually never dreamt that I could make acting a reality but always knew I wanted to have a job somewhere in the arts. I’m still really interested in the roles people have in and around the industry. All very different and all very exciting.

What has been your favorite activity this year during quarantine? 

Walking, walking, walking. It’s been my go-to. It’s pretty safe because you can do it in groups or on your own. The views can often be great and you can always swing past the pub or the café on route for a takeaway something… you can’t beat it.

You can only watch one show for the rest of your life. What show is it? 

Ted Lasso. I’m one season in and think it’s the most lovely, heart-warming show I’ve ever seen. Aside from Miss Scarlet and the Duke of course, but it would be way too narcissistic to watch myself for the rest of eternity!

What is your go-to album during a road trip?

Gregory Porter – Take Me To The Alley! Whether it’s a road trip, cooking dinner or just chilling out at home, it’s my forever pick.

Discuss what you are most looking forward to in 2021.

I can’t wait for the moment when I can give my friends and family a massive hug and big smooch on the cheek.


Talent KATE PHILLIPS @kate_phillipsss
Photography RICK TRUSCOTT @ricktruscott
Makeup JUSTINE JENKINS @justinejenkins

Interview ARIS PANGAN @arisjpangan