My Style: Kierston Wareing

Occupation: Actress
Age: 30
Personal style: La bohème

James Sherwood: Kierston, you are the Cinderella of British film. In 2006 you were ready to quit after a decade of struggle. In 2007 you were on the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival and nominated alongside Dame Judi and Cate Blanchett as best actress [for her role in Ken Loach's It's a Free World]. You walked that carpet like a pro.

Kierston Wareing: That's sweet of you. It was my first red carpet and I had a panic attack about what to wear. In the end I bought a £4,500 floor-length black dress.

JS: You reminded me of Marilyn Monroe.

KW: I love Marilyn. It's the presence she had on camera that dazzles.

JS: You seem very grounded for a woman who has gone from nought to 90 miles an hour with her film career in the past 18 months.

KW: That comes from the fact that I was serious about leaving acting. I was studying to be a legal secretary when I was called to audition for Ken. I haven't forgotten how hard it was.

JS: You handle full-on glamour extremely well, but off-screen you're more Marianne Faithfull than Marilyn Monroe. There's a real boho vibe about a girl who can get away with pairing a smocked floral mini-dress with a leopard-print midi-coat.

KW: I really like the bohemian look and I'm a great fan of mixing vintage and modern. The dress and coat are from Mango and the wooden wedge sandals are from the Menorcan shoemaker Mascaro.

JS: What makes the look is the bijoux.

KW: The earrings are fab, aren't they? I bought them in Dubai while there to promote It's a Free World. The bangle is from Miss Madame.

JS: Love the bijoux, love the leopard, love a new British star who makes Sienna Miller look as though she's dressed in the dark.

'It's a Free World' (15) is out now on DVD