AS a child growing up in Ceredigion, Hedydd Raw-Rees wanted to be an artist, not an actress, but now the former Ysgol Penweddig pupil can be seen on our screens every week as Emmerdale’s Misty Allbright.
Cambrian News reported “Under the stage name Hedydd Dylan – “I use Dylan as my stage name, after dad,” Hedydd explained – she has carved a decade-long career in theatre and is now turning her hand to television with a role in one of Britain’s best-loved soaps.
Hedydd, who grew up in Borth and Llandre, says the journey to acting was “somewhat convoluted”.
“I had no natural aptitude for it as a child as far as I recall, although my mother attests to my being a ‘storyteller’.
“I was usually put at the back of school plays and never got very far at the Eisteddfod etc.
“I do come from a very creative family however, so it’s not entirely out of the blue.
“Mam’s a wonderful writer, dad is finally meeting his calling as an actor and there are singers, musicians, poets and artists on both sides.
“I actually always wanted to be an artist and some of my early inspiration came from my weekly visits to the magical home of local artist Muriel Delahaye.”
Hedydd would spend many an hour with Muriel, as she recalls.
“Her house overlooks the sea in Borth and we used to drink tea from lovely china cups and talk about artists and their influences and paint together.
“I think my fascination with human beings and the depiction of character and expression took hold of me then. I didn’t know at the time that it would lead me to acting but it makes sense looking back.”
After Ysgol Rhydypennau primary school, Hedydd moved up to Penweddig, where she met Pam John.
“Another pivotal point of inspiration came from Pam John, a fantastic English teacher at Penweddig,” said Hedydd.
“As well as discovering that I was dyslexic, she introduced me to the likes of Arthur Miller and Shakespeare in such an exciting and accessible way. Her passion was infectious and I continue to find the challenge of deciphering scripts, Shakespeare in particular, deeply satisfying.”
She went on: “I realised whilst doing my A-levels that I probably didn’t have enough self-motivation to be a painter and that I was much happier working as a team. Two of my talented pals, Catrin Morgan and Mari Beard were applying to drama school, which seemed like a better idea.
“I didn’t get in to any of my first choice schools straight away, in fact, someone on the RADA panel told me to go and get more life experience and come back, so I took a couple of gap years.
“I worked as a classroom assistant in Ysgol Plascrug for a while (which I loved) then went to Australia for a year on my own, before eventually getting into RADA in 2005. I studied there for three years, have lived in London ever since and have now been working professionally as an actor for 10 years.
“I’m 33, although my agents often have to lie about my age so I should stop telling people!” here.