I lived the Hollywood dream aged 6 by starring in The Holiday… now I have a normal job after I was forced out of acting | The Sun

IF you're watching TV at this time of the year, odds are at some point you'll flick onto The Holiday.

The heartwarming movie, released in 2006, stars Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz as Iris and Amanda, who swap homes and (spoiler alert!) eventually fall in love with Jack Black and Jude Law’s characters, Miles and Graham.

Jude’s character Graham has two young daughters in the film – one of whom, Sophie, is played by Miffy Englefield, who was just six years old at the time.

She went on to star in a few other TV shows, including Casualty, but stepped away from the spotlight in 2011.

Now 24 and mum to a three-year-old daughter, Frankie, Miffy, who lives in Worthing, tells us how she landed the plum role and what she's up to now.

The Holiday was Miffy’s first paid acting gig – and she and her dad couldn’t believe her luck.



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“My dad had signed me up to an agency when I was four because he noticed I was a loud-mouthed kid,” she recalls.

“We were expecting an advert here or there, maybe something on stage, and then suddenly I got The Holiday!

“It was the first role I got, so it was quite unexpected… it happened really fast.”

Although she was working very closely with Hollywood stars Jude and Cameron, back then Miffy didn’t realise quite how famous they were.

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Miffy hasn't stayed in touch with Jude or Cameron DiazCredit: Alamy

“I was pretty clueless,” she says. “I didn't really know what was going on or who was who. 

“It wasn't until a little bit later in life that I realised who these people were."

Following The Holiday, Miffy went on to star in TV shows Casualty and The Whistleblowers, as well as the short film Beautiful Enough – but The Holiday was her favourite.

“It was the nicest experience I've ever had on any film set for sure. Hands down," she recalls.

“Everyone was so lovely and so genuine. They had genuine time for us as well. It wasn't just pleasantries. They spent time with us off camera.

"It all just felt very, very natural. There was no separation between the fact that we were kids and they were working adults, they just treated us lovely.

“I mean, it's hard work, and it’s long days. But aside from that, I couldn't have asked for anything more.”

Possible reunion

Despite forming a close bond with Cameron and Jude on set, Miffy and her family haven’t stayed in touch with them.

“I wish!” she laughs. “I was only six so I think it would have been a bit odd if I'd asked for their phone number.

"I never kept in contact with them. It would be lovely to say hello, and who knows what the future holds. 

“It's coming up to 20 years since The Holiday was filmed, so maybe something will happen, but I wouldn't hold my breath for it and I'm fine with that.”

Forced out of acting

The last time Miffy was on a film set was in 2011, for Beautiful Enough, when she was 11 years old.

She stopped acting soon after, due to the fact she looked older than she was, and the offers stopped coming in.

“It wasn't really in my control,” admits Miffy. “You don't really want a 12 year old who looks 16. So yeah, it was just a natural growth thing.

“I grew up quite early in terms of my physical appearance.”

After finishing school Miffy worked as a barmaid “for quite a long time” before becoming a mum when she was 21.

She says: “I'm very, very lucky I get to stay at home with her, and that's brilliant. 

“She starts school next year, which is terrifying, so I’m just making the most out of having the last year with her. 

It's coming up to 20 years since The Holiday was filmed, so maybe something will happen

“We've got a whole list of things that we want to tick off for the new year, because there's so much I haven't done with her yet, so we're going to be focusing on that and documenting it on TikTok.

“She really enjoys being on camera – I don't know where she's got that from! She’s also hugely into film. I think way more than I ever was. Obsessed, absolutely obsessed with film!”

However Miffy isn’t sure about signing Frankie up to an agency like her dad did for her.

“She would have to be a bit older than she is now,” she says.

“I was about the same age as she is, but she isn't quite as pretentious as I was. 

“I used to put on shows for random people in the street. I was pretty obnoxious and she hasn't got quite that quality yet, which is good. 

“I think she's slowly getting into performing a little bit, I'm just not going to rush her. It's all completely up to her. 

“She's only three, she's got her whole childhood in front of her.”

The Holiday sequel?

While there were rumours of a sequel to The Holiday earlier this year, Miffy says she doesn’t think it will ever happen.

“As lovely as it would be, I don't think it's really the Nancy Meyers way of doing things,” she adds of the film’s producer, director and writer.

“I don't think that she would want to revisit something and possibly ruin it.”

Miffy recently got the chance to recreate a scene from the film, in which Amanda heads to the nearest village shop, wine bottle in one hand, shopping trolley in the other, to buy everything in sight before heading back to her cosy cottage to celebrate Christmas Day alone in bed.

She had Amanda’s feast for one, which included red wine, snowmen cookies, mince pies – and (of course) a copy of The Holiday on DVD – an experience HomeExchange is giving away to 20 solo travellers.

She says: “It was very surreal and I got my dad to come with me as well. 

“I thought it'd be a bit of fun, because we haven't been on a film set together since I was about 11, and it was just a really, really lovely day – and really nostalgic.

“I got to sit in bed all day, eat some chocolate, drink some wine… what more could you ask for in a day of work?”

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Miffy and her family also had their own Home Exchange holiday earlier this year when they swapped their home in Worthing for a beautiful country house near Hastings.

“I definitely wanted to channel Kate Winslet's character!” she says. “The Home Exchange experience was fantastic, from start to finish. It was just so easy and so brilliant. Me and my family absolutely loved it. My daughter still talks about it to this day!”

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