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Last Updated: Tuesday May 22 2007 16:39 GMT

Lyra actress chats to Newsround

Dakota Blue Richards

The actress playing Lyra in the film of Philip Pullman's Northern Lights, The Golden Compass, has spoken exclusively to Newsround about her role.

Dakota Blue Richards beat thousands of other hopefuls to the part after hearing about the role on Newsround.

The 13-year-old said she's similar to Lyra because she's quite brave and doesn't like being told what to do!

"I like to do what I'm told not to do, just because someone's told me not to do it," she said.

Dakota said she went along to open auditions in Cambridge to try out for the part of Lyra because she was such a fan of the books.

She said: "I really liked the character and so I thought I might as well go to the auditions.

"I didn't really believe it at first [when they told her she'd got the part] until they were saying 'Oh you're going to come to set and do costume fittings' and I was like 'what?'"


But Philip Pullman said Dakota was a great discovery: "She's a lovely actress and I'm sure she'll go a long way," he said.

"She's bringing a sort of freshness and a real sense of her own character."

Dakota said she felt really responsible for the film as she's in practically every scene, but she thinks you'll all enjoy it.

"It should all be fun and I hope it will be good and people will enjoy it," she said.

The Golden Compass is due to hit UK cinemas later in the year.

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