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Oct 17, 2016 09:05 AM EDT

Actress Michelle Collins Talks About Her Drama School Days

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"I signed up to be an actress, not a celebrity," says actress Michelle Collins. Now 54 years old, she recalls her past experiences in Eastenders and Coronation Street.

When she was young, Michelle Collins already knew she wanted to be an actress. She studied at a grammar school near Highbury, near the place she grew up in. When she turned 18 years old, she had applied to 12 drama schools.

She says she was rejected by all of them. No school wanted to teach her how to act. But in the end she persevered still. She eventually found an acting job at the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill, according to Telegraph. Later on, she became popularly known for her roles in Eastenders and the Coronation Street. Until now she is known for her typecast role - Cindy Beale. She explains that because of her career, everyone treats her as a celebrity. But she does not want to be one. She wants to be an actress. She explains that there is a difference.

"I was just tramp or vamp," she says. "No one seemed to see me as a woman, a mother, a working actress." At one point, this could be considered as a compliment in the industry. Because of her start, she played multiple television roles. She even played a part in Doctor Who as an intergalactic ship captain.

Aside from being an actress, she is also a mother. She also talks about her daughter Maia. The 20 year old is reading History at the University of Bristol. Michelle Collins is so proud of Maia that she is feeling the empty nest when her daughter left for University. "And as every parent of a student will tell you, they don't ring you. I'm texting her, and she'll send back, 'Mum, I'm not replying'." She laughs. "You end up thinking, 'Why did I moan at them so much when they were here. I even miss shouting."

What is next for this veteran actress? With mothering out of the picture, she looks forward to play roles in gritty dramas maybe stage work.

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