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‘I was quite worried about not being able to keep up with the boys,’ she admits, ‘so, on the quiet, I had twice as many riding lessons as anyone else before we went out to film in Prague.When the battle scene was being choreographed, we started a body count of all the people we had “slain” and I was doing very well,’ she adds with a grin.Mention of the line that left readers in no doubt what Lewis thought of frivolous girls provokes a giggle from this blue-eyed, brown-haired teenager in her hoop earrings and black, high-heeled boots.
And despite having to fit A-level revision into breaks between takes, during 12-hour days in the 40C heat of a Czech summer, Anna enjoyed every perspiring minute of the adrenalin rush.
Anna’s second Narnian outing, in Prince Caspian, gives Susan a startling change of image as a warlike queen in titanium chain mail and a leather corset.
‘I have a lot more action going on in this movie, which is great,’ she says, delighted to find herself armed with a quiver of arrows, the only female on the battlefield as she helps the disinherited Prince Caspian to regain his Narnian throne.
As Anna puts it, ‘I was 13 when I had my first audition for Susan; 15 when I made the first movie; 16 at the end of the shoot; 17 when it was released; 18 when I filmed the sequel, Prince Caspian, and now I’m 19.’ The comparisons with 18-year-old Emma Watson, who plays Hermione in the Harry Potter films, are irresistible.
Both are bright and talented, and both have had to live their adolescence in the glare of the spotlight as the iconic screen heroines of two of the most famous children’s fantasy adventures in the world.We’ve met in at her first grown-up fashion shoot, to celebrate her transition from child star to full-time student, and in fact she couldn’t look more contented and happy with what seems to me like a new-found freedom.