A BURLESQUE dancer will make her acting debut as the leading lady in a movie set to be released in cinemas next year.

Amy Mathieson formerly of Cornwall Road, St Albans will star as the foxy vixen Lily in low budget screenplay Gin and It.

The film, which is based on her character, is set in a Soho Burlesque Club in 1940's war-time Britain and tells the story of the promiscuous bi-sexual and her dream to become a glamorous show girl.

The 25-year-old actress, who has performed in Burlesque gigs across London since she was 18, battled it out against 500 other hopefuls to secure the star role.

The actress who finished filming earlier this year said: "It felt amazing landing the lead role - It is something I only dreamed of as a kid.

"I had a great experience filming it and I got to wear some stunning vintage costumes and made to measure corsets."

The actress was a pupil at St Peters School in Cottonmill Lane and attended The Margarita Hoare School of Dancing.

She fondly recalls childhood memories of St Albans and hopes to move back into the area soon having moved to Enfield.

"I am proud to have come from St Albans," she said.

"I want to be that someone who comes from a small, down to earth town and says: "I've made it."

But making the big time in the film industry is no easy ride and Amy has experienced the rollercoaster of highs, and lows and knock backs from industry professionals.

"It's hard work being an actress," she said.

"Sometimes you have lots of work and it's great, other times you are constantly getting rejected because you don't have the right hair colour, look or aren't a famous name. I have very thick skin now."

Despite rejection, Amy recently performed for Madonna and Guy Ritchie in the National Theatre and Punchdrunk production of Faust set in an abandoned warehouse in London.

She said: "I am glad I have followed my dream - it has been very difficult and at various stages I have been discouraged by everyone from my family to the teachers at school, but I have done some amazing shows and am now writing my own screenplays."

Amy will also be appearing on TV screens next month alongside 60's model Twiggy in the Christmas Marks and Spencers advert.