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Julie Wilson Nimmo (Miss Hoolie from Balamory) Talks to Raring2go!


Julie Wilson Nimmo (Miss Hoolie from Balamory)...

1. How old were you when you and your family realised that you were 'a bit special' in terms of celebrity status?

I wouldn't say I'm a celebrity at all! However, I guess it was during the second series of Balamory that I became recognised in the street, and we had to start signing autographs when filming in Mull. We had to schedule autograph sessions into the day as we began to get mobbed by kids wanting to meet us! That's when I first realised that this was something different than all my previous roles!

2. How did you feel about going to school, and what was your favourite subject?

I loved primary school - it was just like playtime all the time! 
Secondary was a bit of a shock and I didn't enjoy that so much. BUT I did meet my drama teacher there and she really encouraged me to pursue drama. 
Subjects that I loved? English and Art

3. Was acting your first choice for your career?

I would have loved to be a ballerina but my hamstrings weren't quite right, but I now feel that drama is my vocation. I just love it - it doesn't feel like a job at all!

4. You're married to Greg Hempill, who we know from Chewin' the Fat and Still Game. Do you think your kids will follow either you or Greg into acting or comedy? Have your children shown the same natural ability towards acting, or is it still too early?

Who knows what they'll end up doing! Chevy  is great at accents, and Benny  has shown signs of talent too. The main thing is we'll support them whatever they decide to do.

5. You are a very busy Mum, on stage just now in the Corstorphine Road Nativity and appear regularly on our TV screens. Which of your 'jobs' is the hardest both physically and mentally?

Being a mum is definitely the hardest job in the world! Especially when they're babies. The sense of responsibility is enormous! It's also all about routines when they're little so you don't get much chance to be creative. I definitely see my job as a great release for my creative side.

6. Did becoming a Mum change your attitude to life?

100% for the better!! I can't really remember what I did before I had kids. I really appreciate my time with them now, and I also savour those times when I have a child free afternoon, and can eat in a relaxed manner without having to keep an eye on the boys!

7. Describe a typical day in your house from waking up to last thing at night.

We do all the normal things that everyone does - get the boys up for school and nursery. Walk the dog, pick the boys up, do homework, get the tea! We're quite outdoorsy so tend to go out a lot at weekends, and visit the family. The boys are very close to their cousins so we see them a lot.

8. If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would say to them?

I would love to meet Barbara Streisand. I saw her in 'Funny Girl' when I was young and was inspired by her then. She still inspires me to this day.  I would love to chat to her about her career and her life.

9. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?

If I couldn't take my three boys, I'd take my photo albums, my iPod full of all my favourite music, and my camera - I'd never get bored taking photos of the same things!

10. Describe a favourite family day out when you were a child?

I've got 3 sisters so there always had to be lots of sharing of things in our house. But on our birthdays we got to go into Glasgow on our own with Mum on the bus. She'd buy us a box of Maltesers and take us to see a film. You always felt really special when it was just the two of you for once!

11. Is this still a favourite family day out with your own kids?

We live in the West End of Glasgow and it's still a wee treat for the boys to go into the city on their own with one just parent. It's a great adventure and a chance to chat without anyone else interrupting!

12. How do you relax?

I'm not really into massages and trips to the Spa, but I find a good walk with my dog helps to clear my mind, and a hot bath usually does the trick.

13. Which of your many achievements in business and your personal life are you proudest of?

No doubt about it - my two beautiful boys!

14. If you could give one piece of advice to a new parent, what would it be?

Sleep when the baby sleeps - or at least put your feet up. The housework can wait!

15. What's next? Will you be doing any more kids shows?

I'm not sure - I'd quite like to do some more TV. I've been on stage for a while now so it would be nice to have a change. We'll see what happens!

16. How old were you when you started acting?

I was 3 years old, and it was at the East Kilbride Rep Club.

17. What was the coolest thing about playing Miss Hoolie in Balamory?

Getting to hang out with PC Plum - he's a really good friend now and we sometimes have great fun going into cafes together and getting spotted!

18. Do you have any tips for kids wanting to get into the acting business?

Work hard at it. Join a drama group and have fun. The Scottish Youth Theatre is a great place to learn, and it all really helps your confidence, even if you don't make it a career in the end.

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