THE last time she worked in a restaurant, she was flipping burgers at McDonalds.

But after a career on Gladiators, success in Hollywood and a friendship with Angelina Jolie, Eunice Huthart is back in the kitchen.

The stunt double to the stars has bought a South Liverpool Italian restaurant and is using her experience of Los Angeles cuisine to take it upmarket.

And she has put her most famous friend's favourite food and wine on the menu.

Eunice, 39, and her husband Mark have been planning to buy a restaurant for two years.

She said: "It sounds funny, but I loved working at McDonalds. I was there for 10 years, and they were some of the most fun times I've had in my life.

"I love the interaction with people."

When La Bussola in trendy Allerton Road came up on the market at the end of last year, Eunice knew it was for her.

She said: "Years ago it was packed all the time, and we want to restore it to what it was."

Eunice is now giving long-serving chef Andrew Smith more creative freedom to experiment with dishes. "Ang-elina's favourite dish is fillet steak, so we've made sure we do that really well," she said..

"All of the ingredients are fresh now, and we're looking for a supplier to get us organic meat."

Eunice shot to fame when she appeared on cult ITV show Gladiators in 1994.

From there, she became a Hollywood stunt performer, seen in blockbusters like GoldenEye and Titanic.

She has also worked alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and appeared in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

It was while working as Angelina Jolie's stunt double on Lara Croft: Tomb Raider that she struck up a friendship with the Hollywood beauty.

Last summer, Eunice did stunts for unreleased Ewan McGregor film Stormbreaker - and on December 27 she was filming in Wales with Friends star David Schwimmer.

"I was a teenage boy in Stormbreaker, and Angelina was laughing that I could double for her and for a 15-year-old!" she said.

But she says although she still enjoys stunt work, she wants running La Bussola - "the compass" in Italian - to be her day job now, so she can devote more time to her 15-year-old daughter Carlie.

She said: "I just miss Liverpool so much whenever I'm away filming - everyone has such a good sense of humour."

* DON'T miss our taste test review of La Bussola in tomorrow's Daily Post.

adrian.butler@liverpool.com


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