Hannah Rose Caton, a rising star from Finchley, has jetted off to make her dreams come true as she studies acting at the prestigious Juilliard School in NYC.

She has performed in films such as Carol Morley’s The Falling in 2014 and 2015’s Last Knights, which starred Morgan Freeman and Clive Owen.

Hannah’s early roles were in productions at Friern Barnet School, playing Viola in Twelfth Night, before she moved to The BRIT School aged 16.

Now in her third year at Juilliard, Hannah is fundraising for her tuition as the price for her dreams coming true isn’t small.

I spoke to Hannah, who is currently across the pond performing in a play as part of her studies, about her inspirations and how she started in acting world...

Times Series: Hannah Rose with Morgan Freeman in Last Knights (dir. Kazuaki Kiriya)

Have you always wanted to perform?

I have loved performing from a very young age. My parents created a dress-up box full of props and costumes for me to play with as a child. I would spend hours in it, begging friends and family to play with me!

How does it feel to have gained a place at one of the most prestigious performing arts schools in the world?

When I found out it I had got in, it was one of the most wondrous of feelings – I cried a lot. I was absolutely over the moon and also desperate to get to work! Only 18 of us were chosen out of a pool of 2,000 applicants.

And now going into my third year, it feels very humbling but you also start to understand your journey and why it’s so important that Juilliard is where you studied.

Sometimes I have to remind myself, when school gets busy and the schedule is working 13 hours a day everyday - just to stop and remind myself where I am, and how I got here - that always fuels me with gratitude and a smile!

What’s your favourite part of performing?

I had to choose I would say my favourite part is the collaboration and the feeling of having worked hard and created work that I’m proud of. I love the community that surrounds building a play or developing a film.

Sometimes it’s like being a detective when you get the script and you have to do your research and do the work and you’re surrounded by so many brilliant artists that have so much to give - it can be reinvigorating – and it’s a very humbling experience to try and serve a story and have one goal.

Times Series: Hannah Rose acting alongside Maisie Williams in The Falling (dir. Carol Morley)

Who inspired you to act?

I know at this age I don’t act for anybody else but me. But I also know that there were places of encouragement and inspiration that helped me a long the way. Teachers don’t get enough credit and I’ve had some wonderful teachers and teaching assistants who put their heart and soul into our end of year school productions. I remember that being such an exciting time for me as a kid.

My parents have also been my biggest support and have always done everything they could to support me and my dreams!

But I have fallen in love with the work of Emma Thomson, Judi Dench, Viola Davis, Sally Hawkins, Helen Mirren, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet – the list goes on! Oh and Adrian Lester - he played Othello at the National Theatre and it was the best performances I’ve ever seen.

You’ve worked in film already – what has been the highlight of your career so far?

I think playing Morgan Freeman’s daughter, Lily, in Last Knights was pretty extraordinary! I had people on set saying “What’s it like to have God playing your father?” But little do they know I already have the best Dad in the world so I tried my best to not be phased!

Working with Carol Morley [director of The Falling] was also deeply inspiring – everyday she would illuminate something for me; she’s an incredible director.

You’ve got a Kickstarter going to raise funds for tuition and living in NY – how would you convince someone to give to your cause?

I would hope that someone would be willing to donate and support me as an artist on my journey. I’ve gotten into one of the toughest schools in the world and I’m just a young woman with a dream from Finchley. I’ve made history in being the first mixed-race woman (white and black British) from Britain to have studied at Juilliard. That’s huge!

Anybody who believes in ordinary people doing extraordinary things I hope would be able to lend their support however they can.

Visit generosity.com/educationfundraising/ to support Hannah Rose.