Sabtu, 23 Juli 2011

Wish you were still there, Emily? The screen star who's swapped LA for Hackney

By Nick Mcdermott

As she is now: The former golden girl of British cinema Emily Lloyd near her east London home

Once a golden girl of British cinema, Emily Lloyd rubbed shoulders with Sean Penn and Robert De Niro.

She was nominated for a Bafta for her debut role, aged 17, in Wish You Were Here and later took Hollywood by storm.

These days it is East London rather than Los Angeles that is her home, and the glamorous looks which once helped propel her to fame are gone.

Now 40, she is regularly seen traipsing up and down the streets near her flat wearing dishevelled clothes, with her blonde locks frizzy and unkempt.

So concerned are friends about her change in fortunes since the late 1990s, when her glittering career came to a halt because of health problems, that they have decided to speak out.

One who asked to remain anonymous said: ‘Everyone remembers Emily from Wish You Were Here. But she is now almost unrecognisable as that girl.’

This week Miss Lloyd was photographed near her Hackney home in a pair of mud-spattered jeans and a loose green top.

The daughter of Roger Lloyd-Pack, who played Trigger in Only Fools And Horses, she achieved overnight success by playing a sexually precocious teenager in her 1987 debut.

She went on to star in big budget films with Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis, with her most notable success in A River Runs Through It, directed by Robert Redford.

But in 1997 when she travelled to India for a film role she had an adverse reaction after taking an anti-malaria drug, and was also bitten by a stray dog when visiting the Dalai Lama. The combined effects, she said, ‘unhinged’ her.

She has failed to repeat her earlier acting success and is currently living on benefits and her meagre royalties.

Star of the British screen: Emily, here in the 1987 film Wish You Were Here, was rubbing shoulders with Hollywood's finest as a teenager

Hollywood days: Emily in A River Runs Through It with Craig Sheffer in 1992

She has spoken openly in interviews about her mental health problems – doctors have diagnosed mild schizophrenia, Tourette’s syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder and attention deficit disorder.

And she has struggled with crippling insomnia, which has stopped her harnessing her talent and taking up the job offers which still come her way.

Despite her struggles, she said last year: ‘I feel I have grown and I will get back on my feet. I still hope there’s a part out there that can define me once again.’

Troubled: Emily with her father Roger Lloyd Pack, who starred in Only Fools and Horses