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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 December, 2003, 12:25 GMT
Peter Pan film unveils new star
Rachel Hurd-Wood
The actress had only ever appeared in her school play
A teenager plucked from obscurity to appear in the new Peter Pan film has said she is still shocked at her luck.

Rachel Hurd-Wood, 13, from Godalming in Surrey, beat hundreds of other hopefuls to play Wendy in the £65m film, which stars Jeremy Sumpter as the boy hero.

"I was so lucky to get this part and the experience was just amazing," Hurd said at the London première on Tuesday night.

Her only acting experience before the film had been in a school play.

Hurd-Wood said she was taken aback at interest in the film. More than 1,000 people turned out at Leicester Square to cheer the charity première.

The film is tipped to become a Christmas box office hit.


"I can't believe that I'm here, it's so unreal," she said. "People outside were shouting my name and it's just incredible."

Sumpter, the 14-year-old star of the film, also enjoyed the reception.

"I guess I'll get girls following me now," he said. "It's what every guy wants and hopefully it will now happen to me. It's cool how many people were shouting for me when I arrived, I love it," he said.

The film also stars French actress Ludivine Sagnier as the fairy Tinker Bell, and Harry Potter star Jason Isaacs as the evil Captain Hook.

The charity première raised many for the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. In his will, Peter Pan author JM Barrie gave the copyright of his book to the hospital.

The film is released on Boxing Day in the UK.

Hospital battles over Peter Pan rights
02 Jan 03  |  Entertainment

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