Downley woman Lianna Smith heading to Hollywood (From Bucks Free Press)
Downley woman Lianna Smith heading to Hollywood
10:30am Sunday 17th July 2011
GRACE Kelly, Robert Redford and Adrien Brody are all Oscar winners – but could Downley’s Lianna Smith be the next superstar actress and join that list?
Because the 22-year-old, who goes by the stage name Lianna Liew, is heading to Hollywood after securing a spot at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
The academy has a history of churning out megastars – including the before mentioned acting trio – with its graduates clocking up an impressive 96 Oscar nominations between them.
The 5ft-tall former Wycombe High School pupil now hopes to follow in those huge footsteps, and emulate her idol and fellow petite actress, Inception and Juno star Ellen Page.
She said: “I got this massive padded letter through the door, opened it up and it was the acceptance letter and brochure – I couldn’t believe it.
“My friends called me and basically yelled down the phone to say congratulations and my dad is happy but is also in protective dad mode.
“I always aim high. I love acting and performing, so even if it is bit parts I would be happy – but I’d love to been in a Hollywood blockbuster.
“I love Ellen Page as she is quite small like me, and she has proved you don’t have to be a tall, leggy blonde to be successful.”
The Plomer Green Lane resident landed the place after a series of gruelling auditions in London and flies to Los Angeles in January.
But to achieve her dream, the former Stagecoach and Lane End Player will be on a six-month fundraising mission to stump up the £26,000 required to pay for academy and living fees.
She said: “It’s £30,000 a year and I hope to be there for three years – it is a huge amount of money but it is my dream and one I will achieve.
“Friends have offered to chip in and help but I’m going to be working and fundraising on a full-time basis to get the money together.
“Wycombe High School has kindly offered me their hall for free, so I plan on doing some events there and if anyone would like to sponsor me.
“I’ve been trying to get into an acting school for four years now. It’s an amazing opportunity and one I can’t turn down.”
To sponsor Lianna, email AADAFund@live.co.uk or tweet her @LiannaLiew.
Read these News stories