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She is most known for starring on Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks as Hannah Ashworth.
But while Emma Rigby insists she still loves acting, she isn’t fazed by the glamorous lifestyle that often comes with it.
The actress, 27, admits that she had no desire to be ‘famous’ or a ‘celebrity’ and instead wants to use her voice to help those who are far more in need. Turning her back on Hollywood, where she had been living before recently moving back to London, Emma has jetted into Northern Kenya to assist CAFOD – an aid agency that is a member of the Disaster Emergency Committee. She met with communities that are currently living in desperate conditions and are forced to live on aid, as they have been left with nothing due to their tumultuous living environment and lack of access to resources.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline about the trip, Emma – who is an ambassador for CAFOD after reaffirming her Catholic faith earlier this year – admitted it had been ‘overwhelming’. She described her experience of meeting with the different communities and witnessing the conditions they live in as ‘heartbreaking and devastating to see’.
‘It’s really making me realise how things need to change,’ Emma said. ‘How we live our lives and the things that we think are significant… it’s almost like being on another planet. ‘The communities we are going to, they are sort of the forgotten communities because they are very hard to reach due to poor infrastructure, there’s not even roads to access the community.
‘People have to move because they have nothing, it’s been incredibly emotional.’
The acting talent admitted that she purposely doesn’t have any social media accounts, as she has made a conscious decision not to dabble in the online trend that has swept across the globe.
She claimed that it puts unnecessary pressure on young people to look a certain way and behave a certain way.
Emma continued: ‘Social media has created this sense of reality that is not reality… it’s insignificant. Being here in Kenya, this is our reality. This is where our focus should be. ‘There is so much pressure and focus on young people to conform and behave a certain way.
‘I don’t have any social media, it doesn’t interest me whatsoever,’ she insisted. ‘It doesn’t matter what you look like, it’s who you are that should be celebrated.
‘For me, I’m a very private person. It’s not something I have an interest in. I’m an actress – I don’t necessarily want to be famous and a celebrity, it’s about the acting.
‘The people that I respect – Judie Dench, Julie Walters – I just can’t imagine them being on social media. It’s a personal choice, but I’m quite shy as an individual.’
Emma’s trip to Kenya has given her a new outlook on life and she insists that going forward, she wants to be able to engage others about the problems other communities are facing across the globe.
For the blonde beauty, the chance to pursue acting projects with a ‘moral message’ is something she would relish, having been inspired by Hollywood star Angelina Jolie. ‘I was really inspired by Angelina Jolie’s work with the UN because she was doing something really important,’ Emma said.
Referencing BBC drama Three Girls – that recalled the stories of the victims of grooming and sexual abuse in Rochdale – Emma added: ‘I would like to tell stories that really make a difference. They are the sort of projects I would like to do now.’
While Emma did have experience of raising awareness through her work, thanks to her gruelling anorexia storyline on Hollyoaks, she isn’t keen to make a soap return.
Emma revealed: ‘Even people today say [Hannah’s story] really touched them.
‘It’s really rewarding and I love acting so much, so I feel very fortunate to have been able to do that.
‘It was the greatest opportunity to be on Hollyoaks, it was a real education, but no, I think everything has a time and I’m keen to move forward.’
I’ve taken a little break from the site because Emma has been relately quiet besides a few things that have come out recently. I will try and play catch-up. Next thing on my list will be to screen-cap the movie American Violence which was released on VOD last month. Enjoy the screencaptures from Emma’s latest project; A Cinderella Christmas.
– Home > Movie Production > A Cinderella Christmas > Movie Screencaptures: Blu-Ray Captures
She won acclaim and an army of fans for her role as Hannah Ashworth on hit soap Hollyoaks and has since gone on carve out a career for herself in Hollywood.
And as Emma Rigby settles back in the UK – with plans to appear on the West End stage – the 27-year-old actress is resolutely putting her love life on the back burner.
The blonde beauty told MailOnline: ‘I’m single and I have been for a long time. I just focus on career and I have done for many, many years. I’ll continue to do so. ‘For me, this is my first love and really have to give everything. It’s about hard work and determination. There’s so much that I want to do and achieve and I feel like you have to be selfish and really commit to it.’
Emma – who once dated Nottingham Forest footballer Matt Mills – is adamant not to tread down a path followed by so many of her contemporaries, who have become more famous for their personal lives than their screen work.
As such, the actress – who recently returned to her Merseyside hometown of St Helens after a number of years in Los Angeles – has decided to completely eschew social media. ‘It’s a difficult one, because I’m so grateful to all the fans that supported me when I first started on Hollyoaks at 14 and have supported me and watched my other work,’ she told MailOnline.
‘Having social media is such a powerful tool. You can give back to your fans and share a journey with them. However, for me personally, I’m super private and I just kind of keep myself to myself.
‘And I love acting, so I just kind of make sure it’s about acting as opposed to my life. Especially with the journey that I’ve come from.
‘Unfortunately there’s lots of people that still have the preconceived ideas, like I’m Northern, I was on Hollyoaks, negative things, which is just so ridiculous, because that’s not me. I’m actually proud where I’ve come from.’ Since settling back in the UK – ahead of her plans to make a move down to London in the New Year – Emma recently enjoyed a reunion with her former Hollyoaks family.
In a picture shared on Twitter, she was seen posing with Andy Moss, Sonny Flood, Jim Millea, Anthony Quinlan – and it was an ’emotional’ experience.
‘It was fantastic,’ cooed Emma. ‘These were people that played my family… They were my co-stars, but we also became like a real family. It’s such fond memories for me… It was just amazing to be together and be a part of it.
‘Meeting them cemented the idea that I was happy to be back. I was so excited to be back in England and see them. When we saw each other, nothing had changed. We’re still all the same people. It was emotional and funny.’ After experiencing a real-life Cinderella story in her rise from humble beginnings in Merseyside to now counting such stars as James Franco as pals, Emma will next hit screens in the American family movie A Cinderella Christmas.
The movie sees the actress take on the role of Angie, who spends her days working hard to run her uncle’s events business while her cousin takes all the credit.
When Angie takes one night off to have fun at the Christmas Masquerade Ball, the mask and gown allow her to let loose, and she quickly catches the eye of a wealthy local bachelor.
In a modern take on the classic fairytale, he is then tasked with tracking down the woman who attracted his attentions, only to disappear. After enjoying success, Emma has been determined about giving back, making a trip to her old secondary school to speak with students at a special prize-giving ceremony.
And she used her visit as an opportunity to engage the graduating students about following their dreams, though she’s passionate about the lack of funding allowing them to pursue careers in the arts and other fields.
‘I just think it’s so wrong,’ she said ‘I was really blessed that I had a supportive mother, but in the North you don’t have the same access. How are people supposed to achieve things if they don’t have the government funding for after-school activities?
‘I wanted to try and show them that I’m from nothing. I don’t have any contacts or money. I’m still on my journey but I’m getting there because of commitment, hard work and a real love for what I do.’
We here at Emma Rigby Fan would love to wish Emma a happy and healthy 27th birthday today. If you wish to leave a birthday comment please do. We look forward to what Emma can show us in the future!
We are currently looking for affiliates on the site. If you are interested then please fill out an application by going here. I am also going to be revamping the site with a new layout, updating the content and getting a new look for the both the gallery and main page. I will hopefully screen-capture Emma’s recent TV appearance in Death in Paradise.
I was thinking it was time for a new layout and thanks to Ray we have a spiffy new layout. I’ll be doing some gallery updates hopefully within the next couple of days.