Young actor set for lead role in movie about the brutal killing of Hartlepool woman Angela Wrightson

A budding star is set for her first acting role playing a one of two teen murderers jailed for the killing of a Hartlepool woman which shocked the nation.

Thursday, 3rd January 2019, 10:32 am
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 7:23 am
Brodie Young (left) as 'Kelsey' with Rebecca McDiarmid as 'Polly'

‘Like’ tells the story of the killing of Hartlepool woman Angela Wrightson by two young girls – with first-time actor Brodie Young playing ‘Kelsey’ opposite fellow debutant Rebecca McDiarmid in the role of ‘Polly’.

Two teenage girls, whose real names have not been used in the film as they cannot be identified, are serving life prison sentences with a minimum of 15 years for the murder of 39-year-old in 2014.

Angela Wrightson

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The case shocked the country for its brutality by the schoolgirls who were aged just 13 and 14 at the time.

During the attack at Miss Wrightson’s home, the pair took selfies of themselves and posted images of the crime on Snapchat and social media.

Now the crime has been used as the inspiration for the film, which director Michael Frank says it is a fictional exploration of the real case which raises questions about the influence of social media on teenagers’ behaviour.

Scenes in the film were completely improvised and were shot entirely by the teenage actors themselves using mobile phones.

Brodie Young as 'Kelsey' being interviewed by police=

Brodie , a member of StarNow, said: “I had to become a lot more foul mouthed, so I actually just swore more often.

“The most challenging part was not letting ‘Brodie’ peep through when playing as Kelsey. It was such a memorable experience. It was fun and I genuinely got along with Rebecca [McDiarmid, co-star]. I learnt there’s different ways of filming, not just a big camera following you around.”

Brodie, from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, managed to land an audition after responding to an open casting call for which over 300 budding teenage actresses applied.

She added: "I wanted to become an actress because I liked the idea of pretending to be someone else; In a way, live as someone else. It’s like when you’re younger and playing make believe games with your friends but with cameras and lines.”

Brodie Young as 'Kelsey' with 'Brenda' [the Angela Wrightson character]

Brodie was eventually cast in the film after director Michael Frank viewed an online video of her discussing her views and observations of social media and bullying.

He said: “During the casting process I asked Brodie to perform several improvisation scenes with a number of other actresses including her eventual co-star Rebecca McDiarmid.

"Their scenes together were incredibly dynamic and exciting to watch. It became apparent that although a first timer, Brodie’s had remarkable instincts.”

‘Like’ is currently being made available to international film festivals and is planned for release in 2019.

Brodie Young as 'Kelsey' with Rebecca McDiarmid as 'Polly'

Ms Wrightson led a chaotic lifestyle and was taken advantage of by visitors to her home who used it to drink.

Neighbours later described her as a “kind, trusting, decent woman” who was vulnerable in drink.

She suffered more than 100 injuries in the five-hour attack when she was beaten with weapons including a shovel, TV, coffee table and a stick laced with screws.

Jailing the girls at Leeds Crown Court in 2016 the judge, Mr Justice Globe, said: “It was an attack that included gratuitous degradation.”

He said the teenagers had acted in tandem in “a cowardly attack”.

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