Ackley Bridge star Sunetra Sarker has admitted that she missed out the ‘job of a lifetime’ appearing in a Sacha Baron Cohen mockumentary because she locked herself out of her home on the day of the audition.
Sunetra, 47, revealed that she was one of two actresses being considered for the role of a mother in the fly-on-the-wall mockumentary about an Indian family emigrating to America.
But she did the ‘worst audition’ of her life in front of the Ali G star and Seinfeld producer Larry David after being stranded in the street in a Gap hoodie, pyjama bottoms and socks.
Epic fail: Ackley Bridge star Sunetra Sarker has admitted that she missed out the ‘job of a lifetime’ appearing in a Sacha Baron Cohen mockumentary because she locked herself out of her home on the day of the audition
Speaking to Susannah Constantine on her podcast My Wardrobe Malfunction, she said: ‘The audition, would you believe, was the day before Christmas Eve – December 23, 2004, at one o’clock.
‘I got up in the morning and where I lived in London in Streatham there was a launderette just down the road. I had my pyjama bottoms on and my Gap hoodie and I had my white shirt that needed drying in the launderette…
‘So I was going to the dryer, closed the door behind me, and as I’m running to the launderette, I thought: ‘I haven’t got the keys and I’ve left the bath running.’
‘Right? So everything is going through my head now. I’m like: ‘How? What the hell? What the hell? S**t.’
Missed out: Sunetra, 47, revealed that she was one of two actresses being considered for the role of a mother in the fly-on-the-wall mockumentary about an Indian family emigrating to America [Baron Cohen is pictured in 2020’s Borat 2]
‘I’ve got this wet white shirt in my hand, which needs drying, I’m in my pyjama bottoms, I’m looking at the time and it’s like getting onto 12. I’ve got like, maybe an hour and a half.
‘I go to the police station and say: ‘I need to make a phone call. I need to ask the waterboard to switch off my water and I need to speak to my agent and let her know.’
‘I have no money, no keys, literally no shoes – I was running over to the launderette in my socks… And the policeman’s going: ‘Sorry love. I’m sorry love. That’s not an emergency.’ I was like: ‘I have to be in Leicester Square at one o’clock and look at me.’
Nightmare: She did the ‘worst audition’ of her life in front of the Ali G star and Seinfeld producer Larry David after being stranded in the street in a Gap hoodie, pyjama bottoms and socks
‘I mean, I’d just about brushed my teeth probably. So I’m speaking on the phone like this going: ‘Sarah. I’ve been locked up my house, I’m wearing my pyjamas and I’ve got a wet shirt in my hand. I’ve got no money.’
‘She was like: ‘Get in a taxi. I’ll meet you on the other side and we’ll pay for it.’ So black cab. Ridiculous £40 to £50 worth of taxi journey.
‘Sarah, my agent’s meeting me outside the agency. She gives me 100 pounds cash and goes: ‘Go and get some clothes and get to that audition now.’
Actress: Sunetra is pictured on Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge
‘I’m literally running around with a white crunched up blouse in my hand, running through Boots, using the samples. I’m sticking makeup on – literally foundation, the lot, looking for clothes.
‘It’s 23rd of December, Susannah. Oxford Street was manic. It was the worst day you could ever try and buy clothes. So I couldn’t buy a whole outfit and I was running out of time.
‘So I just had to stick with the Gap hoodie and just get out of my pyjama bottoms – proper checked, like checked, you couldn’t pretend – and buy some shoes.
‘It was either Monsoon or River Island, one of those which had the smallest queue – and I just ran, took everything, ‘Could you take the tags off?’ and ran into this audition with a plastic bag with a wet white shirt in and sat down and was like: ‘Hi.’
‘And they looked at me like: ‘How seriously are you taking this job Sunetra? You’ve come in a loungy Gap hoodie and a pair of really badly-fitting grey trousers.’ And it was the worst audition of my life.’
Sunetra, who partnered Brendan Cole in the 2014 series of Strictly Come Dancing, also revealed that she landed her first major role as Nisha Batra in Brookside after being spotted on the street.
She thought she would only appear in two episodes but remained for two years from 1998 until 1990 and then returned a decade later for another three years.
‘It was a one off,’ she said. ‘It was such a lucky (break). I mean, I got spotted on the street and dragged in because Channel 4 couldn’t find an Indian girl to play an animal rights activist for one or two episodes.’
Apart: Sunetra Sarker has admitted she and her husband Scott Carey still live ‘happily apart’ more than two years after tying the knot