Smith: I wanted to curtsey on set

Press Association24 December 2012

Sheridan Smith has confessed she was "a nervous wreck" on her first day filming new movie Quartet.

The Gavin And Stacey star plays a doctor at a retirement home for musicians in Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, which also stars Dame Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins, Billy Connolly and Sir Tom Courtenay.

"I just wanted to curtsey! They're amazing, the creme de la creme, British acting royalty. But they were so nice to me," she admitted.

"It was very daunting, I was a nervous wreck. But they were so great. And because I was one of the only young people on set they would all look after me and tell me stories.

"I was like a sponge taking it all in. I had to pinch myself going home at night, I was like, I can't believe I'm working with all these people, and Dustin Hoffman. It's just insane. But a huge honour."

Sheridan was spotted by Dustin when he saw her in the West End play Flare Path.

"When he came backstage after the play, thankfully I didn't know he was in or I would have fallen apart with nerves, but he came round afterwards and it was a really emotional play and he was crying, and he said something lovely about acting from the heart and then I started crying. When he left I was just inconsolable and rang my mum," she explained.

"So when he rang about the movie, I couldn't quite believe my luck. I put myself on tape and the next day he rang and said, 'Right, you're going to be in my movie.' I screamed and burst into tears again. I kind of cry always when I'm around him because I'm in awe of him! And overwhelmed that he believes in me. He's a genius."

:: Quartet is released in cinemas on January 1.

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