Chanel Creswell as Coleen Rooney

Wagatha Christie: Chanel Cresswell on Playing Coleen Rooney in Vardy v Rooney

Culture /


Channel 4's dramatisation of the Vardy v Rooney debacle airs this month

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It was only a matter of time before the Wagatha Christie fiasco was adapted for the screen. Channel 4’s two-part drama Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama premieres this December, chronicling the high-profile libel case between the two footballers’ wives, which all began when Coleen Rooney accused Rebekah Vardy of leaking stories about her to The Sun. Taking on the role of Rooney is BAFTA-winning actress Chanel Cresswell, best known for her role in This Is England – who will be starring alongside Games of Thrones‘ Natalia Tena as Vardy. Ahead of the launch of the hotly anticipated series, Cresswell gave us the lowdown.

Chanel Cresswell on Playing Coleen Rooney

Chanel Cresswell

What can you tell us about Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama?

I guess we never knew what was said in those walls and now the public can see how the verdict was reached. This gives an insight into those details people really want to know.

What was it like playing Coleen?

It was quite scary but also very enjoyable. It’s difficult to portray someone who has a certain image the media has already given the public and I wanted to play the strong mother and wife she is. She’s just a normal person.

How did it feel taking on such a high-profile case?

I was slightly nervous about that, I won’t lie. I hadn’t followed the trial so I was going in blind folded. I read the transcripts, did my research on Coleen and felt I played the truth. I played the facts I was given.

Any funny stories from rehearsals?

Dion Lloyd (who plays Wayne Rooney) and I kept having competitions about who knew the TV show Friends better. I gave him a question once and during a break I saw him run off to his dressing room. I ran round the corner and caught him trying to Google answers! What a cheat. I won!

Favourite person you worked with on the show?

I had nice times with all of the cast. We all went for a really nice meal and shared lots of laughs and stories. They are a great bunch.

Favourite role to date and why?

Kelly Jenkins in This is England has always had a special place in my heart . I watch that now and know what I was going through at the time.

Role you’d cut your right arm off to get?

That’s a hard one. I still have so many I haven’t yet ticked off – I don’t want to jinx it.

What demands do you have during rehearsals?

Everyone has to turn away and not look at me – haha, I’m joking! I like to have my script with all my notes.

Chanel Creswell as Coleen Rooney

What qualities do you think have made you successful?

You have to work hard, no doubt about it, and you have to accept the no and celebrate the yes! Filming is a group venture and we all have to hold each other up.

Film you think everyone in the world should see?

I’ve just watched Brian and Charles and I loved it.

What’s your relationship with social media like? 

It’s semi-existent. I try to be active but I like to live in the moment. I post a couple of pictures and then I’m done – I don’t sit and think: ‘I’m really special, everyone needs to look at how awesome my life is.’ That can be how it appears to me.

What did you want to be when you were a little girl?

It was very typical: a vet, and then I designed clothes from a young age.

If you could give advice to your 15-year-old self, what would it be?

Don’t worry: your path will work out, and spend time with your parents. Make time for family memories.

Three books you’d take to a desert island?

  • How to Survive on a Desert Island
  • How to Slaughter Your Food
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James*

*JOKES!

The most challenging moment of your life?

I’ve had a few tests this year and I’ve learnt life is so short after having to witness a big loss in the family. I think also navigating the acting industry after Covid – it’s a whole different ball game now.

How can we all live a little bit better?

Be nicer! It’s that simple. Social media can turn certain people ugly and attention hungry and I’ve seen that this year. People lying to get attention is shameful.

What’s your interior design style?

I like black with blasts of colour via my art choices. I have a painting of a lion which was painted in South Africa – I fell in love with it and brought it back with me – it now hangs in my kitchen. It’s huge.

Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama

Channel 4

What are your indulgences?

Cheese.

How do you relax?

Hot yoga.

If we’re coming to your area for a visit, what should we do?

Go to The Durham Ox for Sunday dinner.

Are you a rule breaker or a rule taker?

Both – it’s all about balance.

Vardy V Rooney: A Courtroom Drama starts at 9pm 21 December Channel 4 and All 4. Both episodes will be available to stream or download on All 4 for free following the transmission of the first episode. The final episode airs at 9pm on 22 December.

Image credits:

  1. Photography: Joseph Sinclair @josephsinclair
  2. Make-Up: Justine Jenkins @justinejenkins
  3. Hair: Sophie Sugarman @themanestyle
  4. Styling: Kelvin Barron @kelvinstylist

Jumper – Chinti & Parker

Dress – Gilda & Pearl

Earrings – Dower & Hall

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