Eye in the Sky,
In her latest movie, filmed in South Africa and directed by Gavin Hood, plays a steely colonel conducting a drone attack. In an exclusive interview, she tells Christine van Deemter why she dropped everything for this role Eye in the Sky is a smart and critical lm about the intricate morality of drone warfare. Why did you choose this role? For that exact reason. I felt that it was original and kept you on the edge of your seat. Scripts like that don’t come along often. I also know Colin Firth [who produced the lm as a conscientious, intelligent person and I knew the lm would have those qualities. I told my agent that’s the movie I wanted to do. How did you nd lming in South Africa? I spent some time in Cape Town and had a great hike up Table Mountain. It’s very beautiful and I was fascinated by the different cultures; I wanted to know lots more. But most of my time was spent lming in a bunker, talking to a green screen! You recently commented that the #OscarsSoWhite controversy is less about the Academy and more about the industry needing change at a grassroots level. Do you think this will happen? Yes, I do, absolutely. The water is starting to burst through the cracks and people are nding a voice where they might not previously have had one, or been heard. It will spread and things will change. Do you feel the acting industry is not accepting of older women, or is the tide changing? I think it is changing. Stories are about people who are active in the world and the reality is that those people are between 20 and 60. But it’s not the roles for women in drama that should change – it’s the roles for women in real life. Drama will follow. My character, colonel Katherine Powell, is a good example of this. We have to nd exciting stories about people over 50 that are not just about them being old and ageing. Do you still get nervous before you do a job? Yes. I get nervous about being good enough, and about looking appropriate for the character. Also about meeting and working with new people, and how to relate to them. I’ve always been very unsure of myself in social situations. Do you have a go-to designer for the red carpet? I choose my red-carpet looks very quickly. I often go to Dolce & Gabbana; I love their slight eccentricity and element of fun, and their dresses t very well. Also Badgley Mischka and Jenny Packham. And Zara! I go to Zara in every country I visit.