Dalston’s former Hollywood superstar who turned down Brad Pitt
- Credit: Archant
By the age of 21, she had starred alongside Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis and beaten the likes of Jodie Foster and Winona Rider to Hollywood’s most sought after roles.
But now, as a 43-year-old visibly tackling the effects of tourette’s syndrome and chronic insomnia, Emily Lloyd Pack’s Hollywood days are a distant memory.
The daughter of Only Fools and Horses actor Roger Lloyd-Pack, Emily lives in Dalston but grew up in Milner Square, Islington, with her mother Sheila Hughes – PA to famous playwright Harold Pinter – and half sister Charlotte.
She rose to stardom with her first film role, playing the provocative Lynda in 1987 cult film Wish You Were Here, for which she beat Julie Walters to the Evening Standard Award for Best Actress and was nominated for a BAFTA.
Her first day on set was her 16th birthday, and a year later to the day, she was in Japan for the premiere – sleeping in the suite next door to Michael Jackson.
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For a fleeting few years she was the hottest property in Hollywood, a rare mix of beauty, energy and individuality – but underneath lay a series of mental health problems that would see her career wilt against a backdrop of suicide attempts and self harm.
Nevertheless, Emily puts a positive spin on it all.
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“I’m just glad to have achieved what I did and had those experiences.
“There is some nostalgia but I don’t really spend that much time thinking about it – in a way it’s like it was a different life.”
That life is documented in Emily’s extraordinary auto-biography Wish I Was There which tells some incredible stories of her relationships with Hollywood’s household names.
Among them is dating Sean Penn and hanging out at Jack Nicholson’s house, being told by Brad Pitt that she had turned him down for a date years earlier and rejecting lead roles in future hits Pretty Woman and Pulp Fiction.
But as well as referencing close friendships with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Uma Thurman, the book also tells much darker tales of being abused as a child by a family friend, a suicide attempt and an abortion gone wrong.
“I don’t like to talk about a lot of the things that have happened to me, I’d like to keep them private,” said Emily, who now lives in Navarino Road, Dalston.
“But I thought the book might help people who are going through similar things.
“I don’t have any links to Hollywood anymore, I have one friend still living there, but we don’t talk anymore.”
Still on medication for her psychosis, Emily has put her life back together and has enjoyed taking courses in art history and doing charity work.
She has also not ruled out a return to acting.
“Maybe if someone found the right role for me and it was the right script... I’d like to think I could still do it,” she said.