HOW MUCH IS A PINT OF MILK?

What do David Bowie and rot­ten fish have in com­mon? They’re both an­swers given by Juliet Steven­son in this month’s Q&A.

Empire (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Do you have a sig­na­ture dish?

I’m quite proud of my fish pie. It takes me a ridicu­lously long time to cook. I put loads of dif­fer­ent kinds of fish in it and the sauce has got to be re­ally pi­quant. I make it about once ev­ery five years, be­cause I hate cook­ing.

When were you most starstruck?

Meet­ing Mag­gie Smith on the set of Harry Pot­ter. I took my kids to meet my great friend, Alan Rick­man, when he was film­ing, and he said, “Oh, come and meet Mag­gie.” I was com­pletely over­whelmed. Un­der her steely gaze, I just talked gib­ber­ish. She told me she was a big ad­mirer of mine but that made it worse. The more I jab­bered, the more for­mi­da­ble she be­came.

What’s your ear­li­est mem­ory?

Jump­ing off my wall when I was three. We lived in Queen­scliff, a one-horse town in Aus­tralia, and ev­ery­thing is in very vivid colours. I had a lit­tle wall in the gar­den — they called it my jump­ing wall and it was prob­a­bly about six inches high, but in my mem­ory it’s at least six foot.

Do you have a favourite an­i­mal?

My Cock­apoo, Milly. My chil­dren think I love her more than them. It’s not true, al­though it’s touch-and-go some days. I love sea an­i­mals, too. Ot­ters, seals and dol­phins.

What was your role in your first school play?

Toad in Toad Of Toad Hall. It was out­side un­der a tree and I painted a frog’s mouth across my face. I vividly re­mem­ber the ex­hil­a­ra­tion of in­hab­it­ing some­body very dif­fer­ent from my­self — al­though my fam­ily would say Toad is not so dif­fer­ent from me.

Do you have a nick­name?

Peo­ple call me Jules. My dad was ob­sessed with nick­names and his nick­names for me would evolve ev­ery week, like some kind of strange di­alect. My friends would come home and I’d die of em­bar­rass­ment be­cause of these names he’d call me. No, I’m not go­ing to tell you them!

How much is a pint of milk?

About £1.20? I buy milk in two-litre car­tons.

Who did you have on your wall grow­ing up?

Orig­i­nally a poster of The Mon­kees, but then it evolved on to David Bowie and John Lennon. There was one film ac­tor I had a mas­sive crush on: Leonard Whit­ing, who played Romeo in Franco Zef­firelli’s Romeo And Juliet.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever put in your mouth?

I ate raw oc­to­pus in a sand­wich in Malta once. I chomped down on it and my jaw sort of sprung back out again. Rot­ten Arc­tic char is the worst, though. I tried it in Canada. It was a com­plete agony of nau­sea. It wouldn’t make my fish pie.

Do you have a tat­too?

No, al­though I’m fas­ci­nated by them. I wouldn’t mind hav­ing a tiny one on my in­side wrist. But I think as an ac­tor you have to keep ev­ery­thing clean and avail­able to be some­one else.

What one thing do you do bet­ter than any­one else you know?

I do the best im­pres­sions of Marge Simp­son and Louis Arm­strong.

Do you have a favourite joke?

Why did the banana go to the doc­tor? Be­cause he wasn’t peel­ing very well. It’s a ter­ri­ble joke, but my son found it hi­lar­i­ous when he was five. I can re­mem­ber moun­tains of text by Shake­speare or Sa­muel Beck­ett, but I just don’t re­mem­ber jokes.

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