Keeping it real
Bambi where you could see Bambi’s eyes in the dark. I must be the only kid in the western world who was afraid of Bambi. But I know Merida is definitely a bit outside the DisneyPixar box.”
She conferred with her Boardwalk co-star Steve Buscemi, star of Monsters Inc and incoming sequel Monsters University, about the voice work but still found it challenging.
“It was really hard work,” she says. “Usually it’s going into a booth and reciting some lines. For this we were on a huge sound stage. The director, Mark Andrews, would say ‘Now say it like you’ve been hit with a branch’. So I’d think about that and then give it a go. And then he’d say: ‘Now do it like you’re getting hit by a bigger branch. On a horse’.”
She enjoyed being a tomboy teen though admits she was a failed tomboy in real life.
“I couldn’t have been rebellious because I had nothing to rebel against,” she says. “I wanted to be a tomboy rebel. Calamity Jane was my big heroine when I was growing up. I used to run around pretending to be on a horse. I still love the film. When I told Martin Scorsese, he looked appalled and started pleading for me to watch Annie Get Your Gun and Singin’ in the Rain.”
She looks contemplative. “I did used to climb trees,” she offers. “I’d sit in a tree and make little noises to freak out the neighbours: ‘Helloooo!’ Butmost of the time my mum was trying to get me out the door. I was a homebody. I was never as strong willed as Merida.”
She remains rooted in Glasgow with husband Dougie and four-year-old son Freddie, though the family do have to spend half the year in New York when Boardwalk Empire is in production. “New York is vibrant – I love the energy. But when I come back to Glasgow my shoulders drop. And I end up being early for Freddie’s preschool every day because it takes no time to get anywhere.”
Princess Merida in Brave