My Secret Life: Tamsin Egerton, actress, 22

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The Independent Online

My parents are... very different people, which I think has made me a rounded person. My mum is a bit unconventional, she's outdoorsy and has more of an emotional intelligence whereas my dad is pragmatic, he's a businessman.

The household I grew up in... was pretty hectic. We've always had a house filled with animals so there was constantly something on your lap wanting a cuddle. My sister is very extrovert, you'd hear her singing or dancing or generally shouting.

When I was a child I wanted to... be a vet. I'm a real animal lover, I adore animals of all shapes and sizes. We had guinea pigs, dogs, cats, rabbits at home – we had everything! But I decided I wanted to be an actress from the age of 11: I got the bug and that was it.

If I could change one thing about would be my eyesight. I envy friends who don't have to rifle through their handbag for glasses before a play or when driving.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at... cooking. I've done several courses now including specialising in Indian food. My curries are famous among friends.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... I have no sense of direction at all. Thank the Lord for my TomTom, otherwise I'd spend my whole life lost.

At night I dream of... quite disturbing things! My dreams are always very vivid and complex and often come in chapters.

I wish I'd never worn... purple corduroy flares when I was 11. My legs were too long for high-street jeans so we'd found these in a vintage shop.

My favourite item of clothing... My navy-blue embroidered Burberry coat and all my leather jackets.

It's not fashionable but I like... a good audiobook. The [Stephen] Fry Chronicles is a great one to drive along to.

A book that changed me... The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon. It's a beautifully written book explaining the complexities of depression. I found it absolutely compelling.

Movie heaven... Anything with Paul Rudd in it, at the moment. I Love You, Man and Dinner for Schmucks were amazing.

My secret crush is... Keanu Reeves – I haven't met him but he is an amazing actor.

My greatest regret... Not having a second language. My mum grew up in so many different countries including Spain, so she's trilingual. I wish she'd spoken to us in those languages when we were growing up.

My real-life villains... are people who inflict cruelty, be it to animals, adults or children.

The last time I cried... reading The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. My friend laughed because I had only got to page five!

My five-year plan... is to hopefully still be working. I'd love to work with Baz Luhrmann – I've loved him since I was a kid. My sister and I would watch Strictly Ballroom every couple of weeks.

My life in six words... Up, down, here, there, stop, go!

A life in brief

Tamsin Egerton was born in 1988. She started acting aged six, starring as Mary in the RSC’s musical production of The Secret Garden a year later. After attending Ditcham Park School in Hampshire, she left at 16 to pursue a career in acting. Her film credits include Driving Lessons, Keeping Mum, Chalet Girl and both the StTrinian’smovies. Egerton starred as Guinevere in the Channel 4 series Camelot,which is out on DVD this week. She is currently living in Hampshire with her parents