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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 11:56 GMT
Anna Friel on coping with LA life
Anna Friel
Anna said her daughter thinks she has the best job in the world
Actress Anna Friel has been talking about how she stays sane in LA by surrounding herself with fellow Brit actors.

The former Brookside actress has won acclaim for her role in American drama Pushing Daisies and was recently nominated for a best actress gong at the Golden Globes.

She admits to being "slightly scared" of LA in the beginning when she didn't really have a circle of friends and regular work.

But now she has a house and is more settled she finds that she is regularly host to visiting Brits.

'It feels special'

"My house has become a refuge for British actors," she said. "Normally everyone has to stay in hotels and everyone's like 'Friel's got a house, let's go and crash at hers!'

Americans make television like no-one else in the world

"The house hasn't been empty once, we've always had guests and all of them have been British.

"I don't feel too homesick because most of my friends out there are English. I haven't gone out of my way not to meet Americans, it's just happened to be that there's lots of Brits around."

Anna told Newsbeat the LA lifestyle can be fake but she does things her own way, like getting rid of her personal assistant.

She said: "It's very strange. Now I've got publicists and lawyers and managers and agents. Your entourage gets bigger and bigger and bigger."

She has also spoken about the differences between working for American and British television.

On US productions she said: "It's a very well-oiled slick machine. The hours are much longer, the crews are much bigger, the budgets are much bigger - I'm having the best time ever.

Anna Friel: Need to know
Lee Pace and Anna Friel
Anna had the first pre-watershed lesbian kiss on British TV in Brookside in 1993
She has also appeared in Emmerdale and classic 1991 drama GBH
Her first film role was Stephen Poliakoff's The Tribe

"Americans make television like no-one else in the world. The production values are so high. It feels special, it feels exciting."

Perhaps one of the reasons Anna has settled in so well is her ability to adopt the American accent.

'Best job in the world'

She said: "I don't come out of accent - and my mum doesn't like it if I'm on the phone but I don't know if it's become a kind of superstitious discipline now.

"From the minute I get into my car and I arrive at work, I'm American Anna and at the end of the day I bring my own accent back.

"The crew think it's funny whenever I speak English. They say 'Why are you doing that silly accent? What is that accent?' They think my English is the one I've put on."

Anna is also managing to juggle a successful career with bringing up her young daughter.

Although she admitted that it can be hard, she said it helped to have Gracie on set every day.

"There's no better set for any child to come and visit than Pushing Daisies. She comes in and there's monkeys on the set and fields of windmills and there's now a sweetie shop.

"She comes in and says 'Mummy's got the best job in the world!'"

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