Date: 28th February 2001
JAMIE BELL's acting mentor is worried that the BILLY ELLIOT star may not be able to cope with his meteoric rise to fame. TRUDY HINDMARSH, principal of the BILLY ELLIOT actor's stage school in north east England, claims that Bell's worldwide acclaim is putting the youth under "huge pressure".
The 14-year-old from Billingham, County Durham, was an unknown as little as a year ago. On Sunday (25FEB01), he scored an amazing upset by beating A-list stars such as TOM HANKS to win the BEST ACTOR award at the BAFTAs. The woman who taught Jamie at PRIOR'S MILL PRIMARY SCHOOL and STAGECOACH THEATRE ARTS, both in County Durham, is anxious that it could all be too much too soon for the promising young talent.
Trudy Hindmarsh says, "I think there is huge pressure on Jamie at the moment. "He is being pitched up against some of the real Hollywood greats, who are much older than him and have been around for decades. "We are all really proud of him, but it is a stupendous position for a first time film actor to be in at such a young age - competing with people like TOM HANKS, RUSSELL CROWE and MICHAEL DOUGLAS for awards. "Jamie is a very low-key, understated person and fame can often go to the head of a person like that, but I'm sure his mum EILEEN will pop his bubble if he gets big-headed."