That wonderful 2003 British Christmas love note, “Love Actually”, has become one of the contemporary holiday favorites. Even some cynics (myself included) are won over by its charm. It has also been responsible for our introduction to the spectacular voice of “New 2 Tats” favorite, Olivia Olson. Now, we get to meet another inked beauty from that film, Martine McCutcheon.
You may remember that Martine played Natalie, the winsome aide to the British Prime Minister (played by Hugh Grant) who harbored quite a crush on her nation’s leader. Misunderstandings and revelations eventually led Natalie and the Prime Minister to realize exactly how they felt about one another in the most awkward, public and hilarious way.
Born in Hackney, East London, Martine is a multi-talented star of screen, stage and music. She endured and extremely difficult childhood in which she and her mother were constantly on the run from her abusive father. Eventually, her mother won full custody of Martine and got a restraining order against the girl’s father until she turned 18. In the meantime, she remarried and Martine assumed her stepfather’s last name.
Individuals who have endured considerable stress and pain in their lives often find an outlet through which to channel their energy and emotions in the arts. Martine was no different. Knowing she wanted to be performer from a young age, she was able to persuade the Church of England trust to sponsor her to the Italia Conti stage school. At age 12, she appeared in her first commercial (for Kool Aid).
Martine then began modeling before taking a role on that British rite-of-passage, the soap opera “East Enders”. Her three-year run as Tiffany Raymond on the wildly popular serial was such a hit that 22 million viewers tuned in for her final episode on the show. Her next step was a singing career, which led to several Top 10 hits on the UK pop charts.
Stage soon called, and Martine won a Laurence Olivier Award for her performance of Eliza Doolittle in the National Theatre production of “My Fair Lady”. Then came her big breakthrough as Natalie in “Love Actually”. While the movie’s success did not translate into an acting career in the U.S., she still remains popular with fans of the film. More recently, she returned to her soapy roots on the show “Echo Beach”, while also continuing to pursue her musical ambitions.
Martine does have an official website (although it appears to still be under construction): http://officialmartine.com/
You can also follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/martineofficial