"I'm so thrilled and delighted," said Sally Hawkins on being nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 2014 Oscars for her role in Blue Jasmine.
Born on April 27, 1976, to respected authors Jacqui and Colin Hawkins, the stunning brunette was always destined for a creative career.
Growing up in South East London she developed a passion for the arts, including an obsession with black and white films. She went on to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, graduating in 1998.
"I love disappearing" she says. "That's what acting is. For me it's about putting on a persona, stepping into a pair of shoes. It's my face, but I'm using it as a tool for that spirit, that character".
Sally has gained recognition for her work in TV and film, but her first few roles were in theatre. She starred in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, as well as playing Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Since then, the London-born beauty has racked up an impressive CV, tackling every genre from playing Anne Eliot in the 2007 TV adaption of Jane Austen's Persuasion to roles in gritty films such as Layer Cake.
However, it is the love of making people laugh which threw her into the world of acting.
"Comedy was why I got into acting in the first place," says Sally, who had a few roles in Little Britain.
Being open-minded, she is always willing to try new projects, whether it's making people laugh or taking on a role in a dark drama. "You only do good work when you're taking risks and pushing yourself," she said. "And failing really badly."
Yet she hasn't failed. Her performance in Happy-Go-Lucky in 2008 saw her win the Golden Globe for 'Best Actress'. Even so she remains modest about her talents. "I never come away from a film thinking I nailed it," she admitted.
She was immediately drawn to Blue Jasmine because of the chance to co-star with Cate Blanchett.
The two actress worked closely to create the sisterly bond in the film. "When I read the script," she said, "I knew it was special."
When it comes to picking projects, she follows her parents advice. "My parents have a strong work ethic," she says "But their attitude to life, their philosophy, is: 'whatever makes you happy'."
Of the future, she says: "I doing something I really love. Beyond that, I have no idea."