Maisie Louise Smith (born 9 July 2001, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex) is an English actress. She has appeared in the feature film The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) and played the regular role of Tiffany Butcher in the BBC soap opera EastEnders from 2008 to 2014.
Smith attended the Singer Stage School, in Leigh-on-Sea, for about 18 months and began working professionally at a young age. In 2006, she was cast in the film The Other Boleyn Girl as a young Elizabeth I; the film was released in February 2008. She went on to secure the role of Tiffany Dean in the BBC soap opera EastEnders. Smith made her first appearance on the soap on 1 April 2008, at age six, as the daughter of Bianca Jackson (Patsy Palmer). Smith has bowled over viewers with her 'unique' performance as Tiffany. Smith's mother said of her role, "The role is an exaggeration of her own personality, she's a little madam. A lively character both on and off screen. The difference is, she's told to pronounce her t's at home! She is not star-struck at all and has her feet very firmly on the ground. She is an extremely confident child and a great actress." Smith's father Steven said, "She gets recognised quite a lot when we go out as a family. It’s funny when you see people nudge each other and you can hear them saying, ‘Is that the girl off EastEnders?’
Just a number of months after her casting, Smith said she was loving being on EastEnders, telling the Echo (Essex) "I love being on EastEnders. I really get on with Patsy who plays my mum. She looks after me so well. It’s like I’m her real daughter some days. Everyone is really nice. Pam St Clement, who plays Pat Butcher, is also really lovely to me. I’m glad I get to be cheeky and say some funny lines. I would never want to be a goody goody. It’s strange people point at me in the street now and ask if I’m the girl from EastEnders. All my friends think it’s great I’m on television. I think I will want to be an actress forever now."
Digital Spy's Kris Green has said Smith is "brilliant" and "one...to watch", comparing her to Ellis Hollins, the award-winning child actor who plays Tom Cunningham in the Channel 4 teen soap opera Hollyoaks. She has also been praised by stage school teacher Sandra Singer, who said: "Maisie has the most incredible memory and when it comes to script work she is fantastic. It is often very difficult for a six-year-old to act, but she handles it really well and adores it."
In 2010 Smith was asked to appear on CITV's Bookaboo and read the story 'Stinky' by Ian Whybrow. Smith told the CITV website that she loved reading but didn't get the chance to visit the library very often as she is busy with school and filming EastEnders. Smith said, "You have to be quiet in libraries which is really hard for me as I'm very loud. I would probably come last in a 'who can stay quiet the longest' competition!" Smith became the Bookaboo child storytime Ambassador and helped with a campaign to get more older siblings to read with younger brothers and sisters.
In 2011 Smith was interviewed by 'The Stage' magazine where she talked about her role in EastEnders. Smith said, "Sudden fame can be tricky when you are just out having fun and people keep wanting to take your photo, but the EastEnders people are very supportive and have said that we can politely say no in situations where we feel uncomfortable. I am very glad that my break came with EastEnders, as they are like a family who look after you. Working on the show has given me the chance to learn so much from the actors, especially those who are in my TV family. There are lots of things you can only learn from actually working on a set. The stage school I attend –also Singer Stage School – prepares you really well, but it is so different when you are actually there on set being filmed. Just a few things I have learned are how to read a script properly (not only my lines but stage directions and any acting I need to be doing in the background), how to work with adults in the workplace, which is very different from being at school, and lots of different wordswhich I didn’t know before such as "running up", "turning", "action" and "cut". As well as all of that, you need to be real by adding in some of your own character. I am quite a lively character in real life, so I do take that on to the set and they have got used to me and like me turning it into my Tiffany character. "Perhaps my most useful lesson has been that while this is an amazing experience, whether you are famous or not, directors can be quite strict, so you must listen all the time and be punctual. Working to such a tight schedule can also mean very long days and I do get tired – but I still can’t wait to go back in the next time."
Smith is a big fan of Doctor Who and would love to be in the programme one day; David Tennant is one of her favourite actors. Smith has two pets, two Jack Russell dogs and two fish. Before joining EastEnders in 2008, Smith enjoyed gymnastics but had to give it up due to not having time to attend classes any more. Smith's favourite school subject is art.
In May 2009, Smith won 'Best Dramatic Performance from a Young Actor or Actress' at the British Soap Awards. In May 2010, Smith was nominated for the same award but lost out to Doctors star Ami Metcalf. In 2010 Smith was nominated for Best Young Actor at the Inside Soap Awards 2010, along with co-star Lorna Fitzgerald (Abi Branning), but lost to Coronation Street actor Alex Bain (Simon Barlow). In 2011 Smith was again shortlisted for the Best Young Actor award at the British Soap Awards, which was also won by Bain. In 2011 Smith was nominated and won Best Young Actor at the Inside Soap awards.
|2008||The Other Boleyn Girl||Young Elizabeth|
|2010||EastEnders: Last Tango in Walford||Tiffany Butcher|
|2008||EastEnders: Ricky and Bianca|
|2009–2011||The British Soap Awards||Award winner/nominee|
|2009||Children In Need||EastEnders special|
|2010||EastEnders Live: The Aftermath||Behind The Scenes special|
|2011||Comic Relief||Guest star for EastEnders|
|2011||EastEnders Revealed||"Whitney's Story"|