Vicky Knight

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Vicky Knight
Born
Vicky Chaundy

1996[1]
Essex, England
NationalityEnglish
OccupationActor
Years active2014–present
Notable work
Dirty God

Vicky Knight (also previously known as Vicky Chaundy) is an English film actress and hospital healthcare assistant. She has starred in Too Ugly For Love (2014), and Dirty God (2019). Knight debuted as an actress from Sacha Polak's Dirty God, where she played an acid attack victim. Her role in Dirty God (2019) was met with critical acclaim.

Knight received burns to 33% of her body from the 2003 fire in her uncle's pub. Her two cousins died from the fire. She was saved by a local plumber, who later died from the injuries he received. The cause of the fire is unknown. She was treated at Broomfield Hospital in Essex, where she now works as a healthcare assistant. Knight stated that she will continue to work in the hospital if she doesn't get acting roles in films. She started a charity named "Scar Quality" to help others who have experienced burns improve their self-esteem. At her school, Knight participated in the sponsored 28-mile walk, where she raised £1,000 for the charity. After raising £1,000, she was named Student of the Year by Association of Colleges.

2003 fire[edit]

On the evening of 27 July 2003, eight-year-old Knight, daughter of Kim Knight,[2][3][4] was staying with four cousins in a flat above the Prince of Wales pub in Stoke Newington, London, which had been owned by her grandfather, but was then being run by her uncle, her mother's brother, Kevin Knight and his wife Kate.[5][3][6] After the children had gone to sleep, a fire started in the pub. The cause is unknown.[6] Kate Knight, whose two sons aged 4 and 10 died from the fire, was accused of starting the fire after having a dispute with her husband. She was cleared of the charges after a two-week trial at the Old Bailey.[5][7] Vicky and her female cousin were saved by plumber Ronnie Springer, a regular customer at the pub, who entered the fire to save them.[8][6] Later he died from the injuries he received.[7] Kate Knight's third son, Joe, survived the fire but was badly burned.[5] Vicky Knight received burns to 33% of her body and was left severely disfigured.[2][9] She tried to hide her scars as she was badly bullied at school and called a "monster".[6]

Career[edit]

In 2014, Knight appeared in an episode of the British dating television show Too Ugly For Love.[10] She later stated that she was duped into appearing on the programme as the producers initially told her it would focus on the everyday realities of her life as a burns survivor.[11] Although Knight is gay, she had to pretend to date a straight man for the show.[6] Her appearance on the TV show received mixed reviews from the audience. After the episode went live, Knight was trolled on the internet.[6] When she complained to the production company about the trolling, she was invited to take part in the British matchmaking TV programme The Undateables.[6]

In 2019, she had her debut role, playing the lead in the Dutch film director Sacha Polak's film Dirty God.[12] The plot of the film centres around the character Jade, who is trying to recover from an acid attack.[13] Her role in the film was praised by critics. Tara Brady of The Irish Times wrote, "Knight delivers a terrific performance that is as complex as the sometimes maddening, frequently stupid, and always sympathetic character that she plays."[13] Jay Weissberg of the Variety wrote, "a stand-out performance from newcomer Vicky Knight and an unflinching portrait of a strong-willed yet immature protagonist facing a radical change in how the world looks at her as well as how she sees herself."[14] Playing the role was emotionally difficult for Knight, who said in an interview "I had quite a few breakdowns on set so all the tears that you see are real".[9] Knight has said that Dirty God has completely changed her life. She further added that it was "helping her come to terms with her scars".[9]

Knight also works as healthcare assistant at Broomfield Hospital in Essex, England.[6][15] Her interest in health care began in 2003, when she was being treated in Broomfield Hospital following the pub fire.[15] She has said she will continue to work as healthcare assistant if she doesn't get any more acting roles in films.[15] She has also said she would like to write a book about her life.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Knight was previously known as Vicky Chaundy.[2][8][3] Knight finds hard to access her emotions about her scars, she further added "[I] Emailed doctors in India and Turkey, asking them to help me".[16] She also revealed that she was feeling suicidal, she said "I was self-harming and self-neglecting. I was a mess, I hit rock bottom. This has given me the opportunity to save my own life. My scars have actually helped me, and something good has come out of something bad".[16]

She attended Robert Clack School,[2] followed by Barking and Dagenham College in Essex, England, where she studied Health and Social Care.[4][17] In 2013 Knight was named "Student of the Year" by the Association of Colleges.[17] Knight set up a charity, "Scar Quality", in 2013, to help those who have experienced burns improve their self-esteem.[17] She has participated in a sponsored 28-mile walk, raising £1,000 for the charity.[17] After winning the "Student of the Year" title, she said "It's amazing to win, I really can't describe it. My scars are something I have to live with every day, but by setting up the charity I can help others. It was hard work, but it's amazing".[17]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Note. Ref.
2014 Too Ugly For Love Herself [10]
2019 Dirty God Jade [12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "How an inspiring new British drama saved its young star's life". Time Out London. Archived from the original on 21 July 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Odeen-Isbister, Sara (15 July 2011). "Robert Clack teenager reveals scars for first time". Barking and Dagenham Post. Archived from the original on 24 August 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Girl Reveals Horrific Burns Scars for First Time". Bav Media. Archived from the original on 23 July 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b Bartholomew, Emma. "Dagenham arson victim returns to scene on ten-year anniversary". Barking and Dagenham Post. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Bartholomew, Emma (10 August 2018) Stoke Newington pub blaze: 15 years on and Prince of Wales survivor is still searching for answers Archived 12 September 2019 at the Wayback Machine in Hackney Gazette. Retrieved 26 August 2019
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Seymour, Tom (17 May 2019). "I hid my scars for years ... I thought I was only good for horror movies". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 9 June 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  7. ^ a b Jones, Sam (25 January 2005). "Pub landlady cleared over blaze that killed sons". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 9 June 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  8. ^ a b Milmo, Cahal (5 September 2003). "Man in pub fire rescue dies of injuries". The Independent. Archived from the original on 23 July 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Collins, Kat (6 June 2019). "'I'm a film star because of my burn scars'". BBC News. Archived from the original on 9 June 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Dirty God: 'I saw a young burn survivor and flinched. Everybody around her did the same'". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 15 July 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Wearing her scars: Vicky Knight makes stunning debut in Sacha Polak's 'Dirty God'". Electra. Archived from the original on 20 July 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  12. ^ a b Clarke, Cath (6 June 2019). "Dirty God review – brave debut powers acid-attack drama". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 9 June 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  13. ^ a b Brady, Tara. "Dirty God: A traumatised woman struggles after an acid attack". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 8 June 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  14. ^ Weissberg, Jay; Weissberg, Jay (28 January 2019). "Rotterdam Film Review: 'Dirty God'". Variety. Archived from the original on 6 July 2019. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  15. ^ a b c d "From Broomfield to the Big Screen: Healthcare assistant Vicky stars in new film". National Health Service. Archived from the original on 23 July 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Wearing her scars: Vicky Knight makes stunning debut in Sacha Polak's 'Dirty God'". ELECTRA. Archived from the original on 20 July 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d e "Vicky Knight". barkingdagenhamcollege.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 20 July 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.

External links[edit]