SI­ENNA MILLER

MY BIG­GEST ACHIEVE­MENT? STAY­ING SANE

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FRONT PAGE -

Si­enna Miller was an ‘ec­cen­tric’ child and is an ‘ir­ri­tat­ingly’ op­ti­mistic adult. But when you’ve been in the glare of the spot­light as long as she has, you’re bound to have one or two lit­tle quirks – like tap­ping the plane three times be­fore get­ting on…

Born in New York City in 1981, ac­tress Si­enna Miller is the child of Amer­i­can banker-turned-art dealer Ed­win and South African for­mer model Josephine. She was raised in Eng­land and has an older sis­ter, Sa­van­nah – with whom she launched the cloth­ing label Twen­ty8Twelve – and two half broth­ers, Charles and Stephen. Si­enna worked as a pho­to­graphic model be­fore find­ing world­wide fame in 2004 op­po­site Jude Law in the re­make of Al­fie. Her on-off re­la­tion­ship with Law dur­ing the years that fol­lowed was played out un­der in­tense press scru­tiny, as were her sub­se­quent ro­mances with ac­tors Rhys Ifans and Balt­hazar Getty. She has been in a re­la­tion­ship with the ac­tor Tom Stur­ridge since 2011 and they have a one-year-old daugh­ter, Mar­lowe.

What is your ear­li­est mem­ory?

It’s of my fa­ther’s shoe. It was a 1980s- style trainer with a big let­ter ‘N’ on the side and we were in the hall­way of our house, I think. I dis­tinctly re­mem­ber the van­tage point from which I was look­ing at it — ob­vi­ously very low to the ground!

What sort of child were you?

I was ex­tro­verted and loud and friendly. I was ap­par­ently quite ec­cen­tric too, and there’s one story that has gone down in fam­ily folk­lore. I went to board­ing school when I was eight years old, which is quite young, so you were al­lowed to take a pet with you as com­pany. I took my pet rab­bit, and an­other girl, Ali, had a rab­bit too. Well, they got on and I won­dered what would hap­pen if I put them to­gether, and they ended up mat­ing. I bred, quite by ac­ci­dent, five bun­nies, one of whom went on to be a prize-win­ning rab­bit by com­plete co­in­ci­dence.

Tell us a se­cret about your­self

I have to sleep on the left side of the bed — I just have to, and if I don’t it feels weird. I’m quite su­per­sti­tious. When I get onto a plane, I have to kiss my hand three times and tap the plane three times. If I didn’t do that and the plane went down, I’d know it was my fault. My fa­ther ac­tu­ally grabbed my hand once and re­fused to let me do it to prove a point, and we went through the worst tur­bu­lence that ei­ther of us has ever ex­pe­ri­enced, and I looked at him and thought, ‘See, I knew this would hap­pen!’

What has been your big­gest achieve­ment?

There are a few. I’ve been able to work and sup­port my­self since I was 18 years old. I got nom­i­nated for both a Golden Globe and a Bafta this year for The Girl, which was a huge achieve­ment. I’ve man­aged to re­tain ev­ery friend­ship since I was 10 years old. And fi­nally, I’ve re­mained sane. I feel like I’ve pretty much re­mained the same per­son through­out ev­ery­thing I’ve been through, and that’s an achieve­ment I’m proud of.

And what has been your big­gest dis­ap­point­ment?

I grew up in front of the world — my 20s were doc­u­mented by the press — so I’m dis­ap­pointed look­ing back at my naïvety. How­ever, I think any­one who had a cam­era pointed at them as much as I did dur­ing their 20s would prob­a­bly say and do the same things.

When did you last feel re­ally happy?

Yes­ter­day. I was in Italy and hav­ing lunch with a group of friends over­look­ing a beau­ti­ful Tus­can val­ley, and it was one of those mo­ments where you feel com­pletely at ease and sur­rounded by peo­ple you love. I’m of­ten re­ally happy, though, de­spite the ex­haus­tion of hav­ing a young baby; my daugh­ter, Mar­lowe, re­cently turned one. I’m ir­ri­tat­ingly op­ti­mistic re­gard­less of what’s go­ing on in my life. I am res­o­lutely a glass-half-full girl.

What do you dream about?

I had a re­ally, re­ally, re­ally weird dream re­cently. I was in a field and I was run­ning to­wards an enor­mous black-and-red jumper — it must have been at least 50ft wide. I then looked round and there were tonnes of other peo­ple run­ning af­ter this same jumper, all des­per­ate to get hold of it. I couldn’t fig­ure out why but then I re­mem­bered — in the dream

— that it was Dennis the Men­ace Day. As soon as I thought that, the dream cut, like in a film, to me on ballet pointe shoes, wa­ter­ski­ing on a lake. I woke up laugh­ing my head off.

What are you best at and what would you like to be bet­ter at?

I’m best at mak­ing peo­ple feel com­fort­able. I would love to be bet­ter at con­cen­trat­ing and at lan­guages. My at­ten­tion span is pretty limited and I’d love to be able to fo­cus more.

Is there some­body you would like to say sorry to... and, if so, why?

There is some­one, but I’d like to say it to their face, and I haven’t had a chance yet.

What is your best char­ac­ter trait?

I can laugh at my­self, which hap­pens all the time. I have to; I don’t have a choice. I have the abil­ity to not take my­self too se­ri­ously, which I think has kept me quite stead­fast through this world that I’m in.

…and your worst?

I can be very hard on my­self and self-crit­i­cal and in­se­cure. I can also be quite he­do­nis­tic. Now I have a kid, some­times I miss that — it’s one of the hard parts about par­ent­ing, but that’s the sac­ri­fice that you make. And then you go into their bed­room at six o’clock in the morn­ing and see this lit­tle face — and it’s worth it.

What is your big­gest fear?

Peo­ple I love dy­ing. It’s not a tan­gi­ble fear, but my great­est fear in life would be los­ing peo­ple that I love. That would be the depth of all mis­ery.

What is the worst thing that any­one has ever said to you?

I have had some truly ter­ri­ble things said to me by the pa­parazzi in the past — I can re­mem­ber one par­tic­u­larly ter­ri­ble thing one of them said to me, but if it’s im­mor­talised in print then he wins, and I will not al­low that.

How would you like to be re­mem­bered?

I’d be happy to be for­got­ten, to be hon­est — hav­ing a child has made me think of that. But if I have to be, then I sup­pose I’d want to be re­mem­bered as kind and a good friend. Si­enna Miller is an ambassador for the new BMW i3 elec­tric car; visit bmw.com

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