Emily Berrington Recommends

Headshot of Emily Berrington with a purple circular graphic that reads "Emily Berrington Recommends"

[This article is from the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of InTouch, your alumni magazine]

Emily Berrington (Development Geography, 2008) is an English actress, best known for her role in the Channel 4 TV series Humans. After graduating from King’s, Emily spent a year working for the Labour Party before gaining a place at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Emily has appeared on stage and screen, with credits including Dead Funny (Vaudeville Theatre), The Miniaturist (BBC) and Outnumbered (BBC).

She combines her career as an actor with voluntary work and campaigning for social issues. Every week, Emily volunteers for GoodGym, which involves visiting isolated people in the community.

Favourite piece of music?

Paul Simon’s Obvious Child.

Treasured childhood memory?

Family camping holidays in our trailer tent with my parents and siblings. Specifically waking up to the smell of breakfast cooking outside on our little camping stove.

Advice you would give to someone wanting to pursue a career in the arts?

When I decided to pursue a career as an actor, fees were so much lower, so I could find a way to do two degrees. I realise that isn’t realistic for most people now – and wouldn’t have been for me either.

My advice would be to do as much research as you can and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to people and ask them where they trained or how they got their first job. I started by looking at drama schools whose alumni were doing the kind of work I wanted to do. Look at making your own work too – even if it’s just a way of increasing your range of experience. University is a great place to do this. You’ll easily find a budding director, costume designer, actor or musician who might want to collaborate. Finally, have other things you enjoy doing, and if they pay the bills – even better!

Biggest achievement?

If we’re talking work-related, probably managing to make a living as an actor. I never thought it would be possible and I feel very lucky.

Standout memory of King’s?

A night in the weeks before second-year exams when the Maughan Library was open 24 hours. Just about everyone I knew seemed to be there, and by 4am we’d all become slightly delirious. I think there was a game of hide and seek... It turned from a moment of great anxiety and stress to total mad joy.

Artificial intelligence – humanity’s salvation or a risk to the vulnerable?

This topic is close to my heart because of my role in the television series Humans. I’m often cautious of new developments in technology and then discover they can offer so much. I refused to have a mobile phone for years. With artificial intelligence, the unknown element is so great. I suppose the question I would ask is – even if we can achieve such a huge technological leap, should we?

Keep up to date with Emily on Instagram: @emily_berrington_