A six-year-old budding actor from Harborough is making her big screen debut this month in a film based on the true story of a Rutland man who suffered a life-changing illness.
Ellie Copping plays the daughter of Tom Ray, from Seaton, whose arms and legs had to be amputated after he contracted septicaemia.
His story has been made into the film Starfish, which is released this month.
Louisa Copping, Ellie’s mum, said she spotted an audition call for the film on Facebook.
She added: “We were over the moon when we heard that she had got the part. Ellie was really excited. We didn’t want to pin too many hopes on it because there were lots of children auditioning.”
The filming took place in November and December last year and was mostly in Rutland.
Louisa said: “Ellie had a parent or grandparent on set with her every day and had one-on-one tuition because she was off school for three weeks.
“The cast and crew were really good with her – we have some great photos of [Downton Abbey actress] Joanne Froggatt playing with her in a makeshift wheelchair. They made her feel really special and Ellie will take away a lot of nice memories from the experience. Ellie did really well, especially when you consider there are some really serious scenes in the film.”
Ellie is now taking acting classes at an academy in Northampton and she also attends dance classes at the Harborough Academy of Performing Arts.
Her mum said: “She had never been in any plays or anything like that before this except for some dance shows.
“She does love standing up in front of groups and talking though, she thanked everyone for coming to one of her birthday parties for example.”
Ellie lives at home with her mum Louisa, dad Stuart and little sister Lydia (3).
The film will be released on Friday, October 28, and is being shown at the Savoy Cinema in Corby.
Ellie added: “I think people from Harborough would enjoy it. People I know who have already seen it said they recognise some of the places where the filming took place.”