The actress first found fame in her native U.K. with her role on hit TV serial drama Brookside, and she later moved to California where she played Charlotte Charles in Pushing Daisies, a role which earned her two Golden Globe nominations.
She has frequently spoken of her love for the U.S. and her desire to raise her daughter Gracie in L.A. – but following her split from Gracie’s father David Thewlis in December (10) she has moved back home.
Friel is determined to help other British actors trying to make it in Tinseltown by letting them stay at her house in the Hollywood Hills – and Doctor Who star Matt Smith and The Adventures of Tintin actor Daniel Mays have already taken up her offer.
She tells Hello! magazine, “It’s become a refuge for British actors. Matt Smith stayed there this summer when he was promoting Doctor Who. I was there solidly for two and half years, but haven’t been back now since January.”
And the actress also reveals she has no immediate plans to head back Stateside, adding: “My agent keeps telling me I have to get back to L.A., but for me to go and take Gracie with me wouldn’t be particularly fair. Last week I was offered something that meant rehousing and moving all the way to New York, but I can’t just say, ‘Bye, everyone, I’ll be selfishly over here for three years.’
“I was offered so much work after Pushing Daisies but on American TV you have to sign a big, long contract. Here, you can do great parts and great dramas in a couple of months.”