Acting? It’s a family affair

By James Martin, March 12, 2009
Joel, Michaela and Rafiella Brooks — all proving to be prodigious musical and theatrical talents

Joel, Michaela and Rafiella Brooks — all proving to be prodigious musical and theatrical talents

They may look like members of a typical suburban Jewish family, but the all-singing, all-dancing Brooks children are bursting with creative ambition.

Last week Michaela, 13, was strutting down the red carpet (wearing the dress she wore for her Finchley Reform Synagogue batmitzvah) as she joined the stars of new film The Young Victoria at its London premiere.

Michaela, just 11 when she filmed scenes as the young princess, shared a set with the film’s star Emily Blunt. She said: “Emily was really friendly and helpful and I learnt a lot from her.” She was also encouraged by other actors in the film, such as Miranda Richardson and Mark Strong.

Michaela got the part in 2007, having started her acting career aged just eight with a part at Islington’s Tower Theatre. She has also appeared in the award-winning BBC comedy series Outnumbered, where Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner play the beleaguered parents of children who regularly run rings round them.

And seven-year-old sister Rafiella has already made her big screen debut playing Leah in the horror film The Children, which was released last December and will be out on DVD at the end of this month.

Although the film is classified Certificate 15, her mother Andrea felt she handled the role with maturity.

“Leah is one of the main roles. It was quite a challenge as the film was shot in Stratford over five weeks, but I stayed with her on set and it was fine.”

Older brother Joel is showing promise, too. The 18-year-old JFS student is a drummer with blues-rock band The Archetypes, which won the London heats of the Blastbeat Battle of the Bands and is going on to compete in this summer’s national finals.

Joel also had a short play performed at the Gate Theatre after winning a competition for promising young writers. Now he’s going to study directing, performance and writing at York University.

Parents Andrea and Keith Brooks say they will be proud of the children’s achievements — whatever they do.

    Last updated: 11:05am, March 12 2009