Scottish actress Kate Dickie has told of her shock at being named the most prolific British performer of the current decade.
More popular with directors than Kate Winslet and Dame Judi Dench, East Kilbride-born Dickie was found by BFI Filmography, a treasure trove of data covering the past century of UK film, to be the most credited film actress of recent years.
Her 17 film credits include Red Road, Prometheus and The Witch.
The 46-year-old, who also appeared in Game of Thrones, has carved a reputation for playing dark and troubled characters. She was required to breastfeed a raven in supernatural film The Witch and concocted a rape revenge plan in Red Road.
Dickie said: “I was shocked, I thought they’d made a mistake.
“I’m just a jobbing actor. I am drawn to characters caught in extreme circumstances. I do get cast in a lot of challenging roles and that is a lot to do with the way I look.”
She said she would be happy to play a romantic lead. “But I don’t get offered those roles. It’s a shame if people think only someone with a certain look can play a lead.
“I want to see people on screen reflecting real life.”
She found the BFI statistics revealing that the proportion of women cast in British films has fallen since 1913 “horribly depressing.”
Dickie said: “A lot of the time your character’s sole purpose as a woman is to support a man’s story. But you can’t afford to turn work down. I told my agent ‘I don’t have any more prostitutes left in me’.
“I’ve played every sex worker and drug addict going. Breastfeeding a raven was “the most frightening thing I’ve ever done. I thought I’d be cradling a cute little bird and they brought out this pterodactyl. When someone doubted I’d be able to do it, that made me go, ‘Actually, I think I might.’” Dickie’s first credited TV role was in Rab C Nesbitt, playing a young girl. Along with Game of Thrones, she has also appeared in Taggart, Still Game, and New Tricks.
She was followed in most credited list by Alice Lowe, (12 films) who wrote, directed and starred in Prevenge. Also starring in a dozen films is Jodie Whittaker, whose profile has soared since she was named the first female Doctor Who.
The BFI Research confirmed that women tend to have shorter careers and on average make fewer films than male actors. But a woman is the most featured character - Queen Victoria appears in 25 films. She is followed by two men, Sherlock Holmes (24 films) and James Bond (21).
Meanwhile, the research reveals ‘Man’ is the most common word in British film titles.
BFI found that 221 films of 10,000 films released since 1911, have man in the title.
Only 71 films meanwhile have woman in the title.