What's Love Got To Do With It?: Blackpool teen's dream role in new film starring Lily James and Emma Thompson

A teenager from Blackpool has won a dream role in a new hit film.
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Shannon Shanthakumar, a 13-year-old pupil at Rossall School, Fleetwood, is currently playing Harja in the romantic comedy-drama What’s Love Got to Do With It, released in cinemas on February 24, and starring Lily James and Emma Thompson.

Shannon, who is represented by Scream Management, was first discovered by the talent agency, at the age of six when she was training at Scream Theatre Schools on Wareham Road, Blackpool.

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She has also been seen in Aldi television commercials as well as being featured in photography campaigns for Merlin Entertainment.

Scream student Shannon Shanthakumar is in the film "What's Love Got to Do With It" starring Emma Thompson and Lily James, which is in cinemas now.Scream student Shannon Shanthakumar is in the film "What's Love Got to Do With It" starring Emma Thompson and Lily James, which is in cinemas now.
Scream student Shannon Shanthakumar is in the film "What's Love Got to Do With It" starring Emma Thompson and Lily James, which is in cinemas now.

‘What’s Love Got to Do with it?’, from the producer behind Bridget Jones’s Diary and Love Actually, follows the story of a white British woman who falls in love with a South Asian man, described as a different take on Mamma Mia.

Shannon auditioned and was recalled for the role with hundreds of other girls in London.

Jess Bell, head of talent at Scream Management, said: “We are so proud of Shannon in her feature film debut as the role of Harja in What’s Love Got To Do With it. She is brilliant in the film and lights up the screen. Shannon has a promising future ahead.”

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Shannon said: “It's a huge achievement for me to be able to work on a big production with such talented famous people.

Shannon Shanthakumar with Jess Bell from Scream Theatre School.Shannon Shanthakumar with Jess Bell from Scream Theatre School.
Shannon Shanthakumar with Jess Bell from Scream Theatre School.

“I had an amazing experience and a wonderful time with all the cast and crew, who made me feel so welcome from the first day. I will remember every bit of it forever.

I am so proud to be playing Harja, and to be a part of it. Everyone made it so special for me.”

Anne Shanthakumar, Shannon’s mum , added: “I am so proud of Shannon for getting a role in this fabulous movie. When we got the call from Shannon’s agent Jess at Scream Management we were so excited. Shannon was jumping up and down with joy. As soon as we read the script we knew it was a special project.”

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Rossall School headmaster Jeremy Quartermain, said: “Shannon is an outstanding young lady in every regard and she is disarmingly modest about her burgeoning acting career.”

Scream Management Talent Agency is always on the lookout for new talent. Details at www.scr eammanagement.com