BEST OF TIMES | WORST OF TIMES
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