Falling for Karen

Karen Hassan                                       Karen 1
Occupation: Actress
Working life:Ever changing
Home life:London / Belfast

I live in… North London. I made the move last February after about five years living in the north of England. Home will always be Belfast as that’s where my family is but I love living here. My apartment in London is a Victorian terrace, which I share with my flat mate. It’s a beautiful home with dark wood floors, high ceilings and big bay windows that make it very light and airy.

I would describe my style as… I’d say my style is very relaxed. I like to feel comfortable. At the moment though I love wearing black. My day to day is probably black skinny jeans and boots with a slouchy jumper. I also love the tailored look. If I was buying a dress for an event I tend to go with block colours, very fitted, something elegant and stylish that I can dress up with hair and makeup.

My favourite shop is… Always changing. I don’t like shopping in the sales though as it infuriates me.

On my wish list is… A long, black, woollen tailored coat. I just can’t find the exact right one. Perhaps it only exists in my head but I heard about this company called ‘A Suit That Fits’ that makes bespoke items so I might just have to invest.

My most recent purchase was… A new mattress and bedding. It was on my xmas list and I got some money from my folks so I went to town… my bed is covered in cushions now. I love it.

I’m inspired by… Stories. I come from a family of great story- tellers and love nothing more than sitting down listening to a good yarn. I suppose that’s why I love reading scripts. Comes in handy as an actress. Reading through a script, finding the character and creating their backstory is part of what I do everyday. I can’t seem to switch my brain off from it. Last year I started writing a script. It all started from a friend telling me a funny story about her family. From then it just grew and grew… six episodes later I guess it just took off.

My five desert island essentials would be.. Coco water. My family will laugh because I’ve not stopped going on about its benefits and trying to get them as hooked on it as I am, so yeah… I’d drink fresh coconut water everyday. Sunscreen, which is boring but essential. I’d bring my best mate because I’d go mental if I didn’t have any company, no matter how beautiful the desert island was. I’d also bring a nice big duvet to sleep under the stars and then maybe a few bottles of Prosecco -good on all occasions.

My guilty pleasure is… I never really deny myself food that I want but the things I could eat EVERYDAY are chocolate, coffee and avocado. I love them all. I suppose my guilty pleasure on telly is reality TV.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is… My family always tell me, ‘If it’s for you, it won’t go past you’- meaning that the right opportunities wont pass you by. It’s great advice for an actress as sometimes we pin our hopes on jobs. Sometimes they come through and sometimes they don’t. It helps you let go of the ones you don’t get and makes you really appreciate the ones you do get.

My favourite holiday destination is… The best holiday I’ve ever been on was a month spent in China. It was truly amazing. It was a complete culture shock and I fell in love with the place. I remember being at the summer palace in Beijing and thinking it was the most beautiful place in the world.

I’m most relaxed when… I’m having a lazy lie in. I love turning off my alarm and making a cup of coffee and crawling back into bed to watch a bit of telly.

My best gift… My cat Monroe. He was so tiny when I got him but he’s huge now. Weighing in about a stone. I miss him so much and my parents are looking after him while I’m in London. He was bought for me as part of my birthday gift one year. I am definitely a weird cat person now.

Karen on the set of The Fall with Gillian Anderson

Karen on the set of The Fall with Gillian Anderson

Karen’s cat Monroe