While the former Brat Pack actor is in familiar territory, humouring every selfie and signature request, even when it interrupts filming, Angela Griffin is keen to crack on. Whether it’s an eye on the looming stormy skies above, a keenness to get on with the job in hand or the hope to get home to her gorgeous family – husband Jason Milligan, daughters Tallulah, 14, Melissa, 11, and canine Insta-star Cavapoo Smith – in the capital, her no-nonsense nature nudges the former West Wing star back into character and the cameras roll.
Back in London, next day, Angela has time to chat with Juiced! Magazine about her career, love of Juicy Oasis, health and nutrition before a catch-up over lunch with friend and actress Tamzin Outhwaite.
Filming, family and friends, it’s the perfect combination for the girl from Leeds who first became a household name as feisty hairdresser Fiona Middleton in Coronation Street, at a time when the long-running soap’s weekly omnibus regularly attracted around 20m viewers.
While soaps have been the make or break for many actors, Angela smoothly transitioned to TV drama with roles in Holby City, Cutting It (where she met friend Amanda Holden) and later Waterloo Road. Lewis, the Inspector Morse spin-off, took Angela into new crime-drama territory as DS Lizzie Maddox and, last year, across the pond to Canada to record The Detail.
“We all loved Canada, which I think combines the best of British and North American culture, and if the show had continued, I think we might have considered a more permanent move”
She has also had several stints at presenting, hosting her own live daytime show, Angela Griffin and Friends, on Sky1, and more recently as a semi-regular presenter on The One Show. Acting is, without doubt, her first love, and her new role as Lisa Cranston in Wild Bill sees Angela Griffin back in the crime zone, swapping a detective’s forensics report for a reporter’s notepad and pen as editor-in-chief of the Boston Stump, a role she describes as, “a Northern Rebekah Brooks”.
With more filming for Wild Bill ahead, and recent promotional work for the UK broadcast of The Detail, which saw Angela step out of Lewis’ shadows into the lead role of Detective Stevie Hall, life is incredibly busy for the actress, and Hollywood seems an inevitable next stop.
“I love being paid to travel,” says Angela. “The kids love it too and it’s great they are now at an age where they are interested in visiting places. We’ve been doing some city breaks recently – last weekend we were in Berlin and this weekend we’re in Brighton, and we’ve visited Amsterdam and Italy as a family, last year.”
“When I was filming The Detail in Toronto, Jason and the girls came out to visit and I flew back in between – we try not to go more than three weeks without seeing each other and family is the most important thing.”
“We all loved Canada, which I think combines the best of British and North American culture, and if the show had continued, I think we might have considered a more permanent move.”
The opportunity for Angela Griffin to spread her wings and leave behind the roles that have made her a household name is tempting, although she has spoken of a potential return to Coronation Street to reprise her role as Fiona for which she won a National Television Award in 1995.
“I feel really lucky to have got to where I am and I still feel every job is going to be my last,” says Angela. “I don’t come from a privileged background or an acting family and I feel blessed to have made a career out of performing. I loved crossing the pond and it is refreshing to be judged on my acting alone rather than having made my name as a Northern, working-class soap star.”
“However, I’ve always said that if the scriptwriters on Corrie came up with a great storyline, I might be tempted to go back. I enjoy presenting but in the UK we are quick to put people into boxes, so I have to be careful to keep the balance between hosting and acting.”
“I do like taking risks and challenging myself, although I would never do reality television – I don’t like anyone mucking around with my food!”
With balance and nutrition in mind, Angela is a big fan of an annual stay at Juicy Oasis where she has time to reboot mentally, physically and nutritionally. Having enjoyed two stays at the retreat with celebrity girlfriends Amanda, Tamzin and Nicola Stephenson, her most recent trip with husband Jason was a very different experience during which the couple enjoyed spending time hanging out with Juice Master Jason Vale.
“When I visit with the girls we go to reboot and carve out some precious ‘me time’,” says Angela. “We tend to sit around and natter, but during this trip with Jason we were full-on doing everything, all the classes and walks. I think my husband liked seeing me so chilled out! I do like going with the girls though and I think next year he’ll go with his friends and I’ll go back with them, it’s a real bonding experience.”
“I love spending time at Juicy Oasis and you know that you are 100 per cent guaranteed going to leave feeling better. There’s no cheating and, as a self-confessed control freak, I like having control taken away from me.”
“As a woman, wife and mother I am constantly worrying about other people, but when I’m at Juicy Oasis I can switch off, focus on me and let someone else take care of helping me to clear my mind and system, and recharge my body. There are so many things to juggle every day but at Juicy Oasis you relinquish control and come back refreshed and ready to go again.”
Having thrown herself into every activity on offer during her seven days at Juicy Oasis, Angela shared how much the detox means to her on Instagram, writing, ‘Lots of parents here and everyone is missing their kids but we all know that the happy, rested, healthy parents that will be returning home will be much more use. The nutritional knowledge that we take home with us will help our kids too. Less convenience food, more low-intervention food, fresh food, cooking from scratch and juices with loads of veg sneaked in but without being able to taste it’.
“I’m a nosy bugger but I love being able to put across my point of view on the blog and air my thoughts on subjects such as women’s rights”
Angela Griffin’s honest approach to juggling it all and balancing her own ambitions while being a strong, stylish female role model and brilliant mum is evident in both her social media posts and blog, Angela’s Angle where she regularly shares her views.
“I quite enjoy social-media,” says Angela. “I’m a nosy bugger but I love being able to put across my point of view on the blog and air my thoughts on subjects such as women’s rights. I think everyone should be fighting for equality and fairness. I don’t want to be a role model and I’m the first to admit I get it wrong on occasion, but I think it’s OK to show that you can f*** it up and it’s not the end of the world.”
Sharing the things that are important to her – from one of her favourite juice recipes (Juice Master’s The Green God from The Funky Fresh Juice Book), to her worries as a mother and about where her next role will come from – she is candid, funny and open about the fact that even celebrities have worries.
Whether you see her as a Northern, working-class child actress that made it big, or consider her a stylish, sophisticated and skilled performer who has proved her talent and now has Hollywood beckoning, Angela has the determination to achieve whatever she sets her sights on. And that’s a star quality we can all aim to follow.
Angela Griffin’s Angle
“I always juice all day on a Monday, particularly if I’ve had a massive weekend! On other days I juice at least once a day, usually in the morning, so at least I know I’ve got my veggies in and some good nutrition in my body for a minimum of one of my meals each day. As a family we enjoy good food and are also really into healthy eating at home.”
On ordering Juice Master Delivered…
“Sometimes I order a 3-Day Detox and I really love it. It’s a luxury but it’s so worth it. When you’ve invested in it you feel committed to following the plan, plus I don’t have to do the washing-up, so it’s a real win-win!”
On looking good…
“There’s loads in my beauty bag and it’s hard to single out must-have products. My hair needs moisture to look good and I use a Paul Mitchell leave-in conditioner. I also try to do a restorative mask each week. For my skin, I do see a dermatologist and they recommended CeraVe, a really good non-comedogenic cleanser and moisturiser available at Boots, which suits my skin.”
Source: Juiced! Magazine (Issue 9)