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Holloway twins set to star in new film Belle

Timia and Lauren Julien-Box (both aged 9) outside Kenwood House. Timia and Lauren Julien-Box (both aged 9) outside Kenwood House.

Sunday, May 25, 2014
12:08 PM

Twin sisters from Holloway are set for stardom as they prepare for their big screen debuts next month.

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Nine-year-olds Lauren and Timia Julien-Box, of Morgan Road, will both appear as the title character of British film Belle – the story of the illegitimate daughter of an African slave who was brought up by her aristocratic uncle in 18th century London.

The sisters, who attend St Mary Magdalene Academy in Liverpool Road, had previously modelled for Barbie and appeared in a number of TV adverts before forming the final two when auditioning for the part as Dido Belle in the 21st Century Fox film more than two years ago.

It was Lauren, the elder by one minute, who got the nod – but Timia was on standby and joined her sister on set, even appearing briefly as her double.

Amazing

“It was great,” said Lauren. “Matthew Goode who played my on-screen father was really helpful and gave me lots of tips.

“The clothes I got to wear were amazing, I had a pink dress that had four layers and I couldn’t even sit down in it.

“I wanted to wear fancy dresses everywhere.”

While her sister was acting, Timia got to spend lots of time on set with the film’s director, Amma Asante. She said: “She was really nice, she sat me on her lap and gave me headphones so that I could listen to what people were saying.

“She kept on telling people to do stuff and she was in charge of everything.”

Dido – the daughter of Sir John Lindsay, captain of a Royal Navy ship – was taken by her father to Kenwood House, Hampstead Heath, in the early 1760s to live with her great uncle William Murray, first Earl of Mansfield, played by Tom Wilkinson.

In the film Lauren plays a young Dido coming to grips with the death of her mother.

“I think she felt confused and shocked that her dad come to see her, and sad because her mother had died,” said Lauren.

“She would have felt upset at first but she’s happy that she’s with her cousin because she helps her to get through it.

“She was treated differently – she didn’t dine with her family because they were seen as above her, but she couldn’t dine with the servants so she had to eat by herself.”

The film, which also stars Emily Watson, Tom Felton and Miranda Richardson, hits cinemas on June 13.

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