Empire (UK) - - REVIEW - words chris he­witt


the most fun was diana Vree­land in In­fa­mous. she was an iconic ed­i­tor of Vogue. she wore her hair in a hel­met of hair­spray and ev­ery­thing was red. she wore a huge amount of rouge, red clothes, red fur­ni­ture, red ev­ery­thing.

the most chal­leng­ing was in Drown­ing By Num­bers. it was filmed on the east coast [of eng­land] in winter. i had to spend the shoot in a swim­ming cos­tume, high heels and a red beret. i was al­ways wet and i was freez­ing cold.


Around 1992 i won best Ac­tress at the olivier Awards for Death And The Maiden, and best Ac­tress at the baf­tas for Truly Madly Deeply. it was amaz­ing, to get awards for film and theatre in the same year. it felt like an in­cred­i­ble peak to be recog­nised in both cat­e­gories.

i was in the bath and my mum was stay­ing with me. the phone rang and she said, “there’s a steven spiel­berg on the phone for you.” i rang him back in my bath towel, and he said, “i want you to be in Schindler’s List.” but i’d just said yes to a play in LA. so i had to say no to steven spiel­berg.


i filmed deep in the sa­hara desert when i was mak­ing a film for the BBC called The March in 1990. we shot in the south of morocco, and i used to write notes to my friends in the sand when the sun was at a par­tic­u­lar an­gle, take pic­tures of them, and send them home.

i shot a BBC se­ries called One Of Us last au­tumn in scot­land, in the bor­der coun­try of pee­b­lesshire, which is so beau­ti­ful. But there was one night shoot where i got so cold when i opened my mouth to speak on cam­era, i couldn’t find my tongue. it was a frozen lump that wouldn’t work.


i don’t think i’ve ever got a film or tele­vi­sion job from an au­di­tion! [For ex­am­ple], with Truly Madly Deeply, An­thony minghella and i had worked closely and he wrote it for me. it’s Amer­ica where they still au­di­tion ev­ery­body.

not long ago, for woody Allen on skype. it was his first skype ex­pe­ri­ence and mine. i should have been wow­ing him, but i just mum­bled and didn’t even look up. Judy Davis got the role [in To Rome With Love].


the clos­est re­la­tion­ship i had with a direc­tor was with an­thony minghella. i felt very trusted by him. he’d say, “all you have to do is less. you need so lit­tle to com­mu­ni­cate what needs to be com­mu­ni­cated. trust the script, and the cam­era to pick up ev­ery frag­ment of thought that passes through you, and trust your­self to do noth­ing.” so, three trusts.

i was once told by an agent, “you have to sharpen your el­bows and re­ally push ev­ery­body out of the way, make your­self stand out.” i thought, “i have to leave you.” that was a piece of ad­vice i de­cided to re­ject.

DE­PAR­TURE is out now on DVD

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