English actress Amy Hoggart, 29, displays serious improv chops as co-star of BBC America’s first comedy series, “Almost Royal,” which follows Poppy, 67th in line to the British throne, and her brother, Georgie (Ed Gamble), as they tour America, “Borat”-like.
CHANGING COURSE: Hoggart was born in Washington, D.C., where her father was a correspondent for the Observer in the 1980s. The family moved back to the U.K. when she was 4. While earning a B.A. in English literature at Cambridge, Hoggart performed with the theater club Footlights, whose alumni include some of the best-known comic performers and writers to come out of the U.K. She went on to earn a masters degree from the University of Sussex in experimental psychology. But, she said, she always loved to write and act, and anyway, “becoming a clinical psychologist in the U.K. is probably more competitive. Everyone said to me, ‘You’re really taking the easy road out.’”
SCENE QUEEN: After honing her skills in the London stand-up scene (“The comedy circuit in London is brilliant, a great community,” she says), Hoggart was cast in “Almost Royal.” “They asked if I could do an aristocratic accent,” she recalls.
WITTY WOMEN: “It feels like a really exciting time for women in comedy,” she says, noting that talents such as Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer and Tamsin Greig are having a big impact. “These really cool women who are doing it all.”
BOOKED: Next up is a U.S. scripted comedy-drama, another in the U.K. and possibly a film (she’s mum on the details). Meanwhile, she’s working in a new medium. “I’m writing a novel — I’ve always wanted to be a novelist!”