Claire I Refuse to Be­lieve All Women Aren’t Strong’

She’ s been some­thing of an overnight suc­cess, but claire foy is keep­ing her feet firmly planted on the ground

Look (UK) - - CLAIRE FOY INTERVIEW -

Two years ago, Claire Foy was a job­bing ac­tress whose great­est claim to fame was a six-episode arc as Anne Bo­leyn in BBC’S Wolf Hall. It would take an­other queen to change it all.

Land­ing the role of the young Queen El­iz­a­beth II in Net­flix’s The Crown, the 33-year-old Man­cu­nian has since be­come the toast of Hol­ly­wood. It’s all thanks to her sear­ing por­trayal as the beloved royal, win­ning this year’s Golden Globe for Best Ac­tress in a Tele­vi­sion Drama, while jug­gling mother­hood to two-year-old Sophia. And Claire is reap­ing the re­wards. Re­ports are sug­gest­ing the ac­tress has snagged the highly con­tested role of Lis­beth Sa­lan­der in the re­boot of The Girl With The Dragon Tat­too. Be­fore that, she’ll star along­side Ryan Gosling in Neil Arm­strong biopic First Man. ‘I can think of worse col­leagues to have on a job,’ she says, laugh­ing.

Pro­mot­ing her lat­est role as Diana Cavendish, the de­voted wife of Robin Cavendish [An­drew Garfield], an ad­vo­cate for the dis­abled, in ob­vi­ous awards bait Breathe (out now), Claire ad­mits it’s still all very new and life as she knows it has re­mained rel­a­tively un­changed.

Hi Claire. Have you re­ceived any in­sights into the lives of full-time car­ers as a re­sult of your lat­est role in Breathe? Yes. I played a char­ac­ter in Lit­tle Dor­rit 11 years ago and I couldn’t get my head around the fact that she was en­tirely de­voted to her fa­ther and that, even though she could leave, she didn’t. The only way I could un­der­stand that was by look­ing at car­ers. I ad­mire any­one who can do that, but I ad­mire some­one like Diana, who saw the sig­nif­i­cance of what she was do­ing and un­der­played it. You’ve had a very suc­cess­ful few years… Yes, I’ve been given lots of amaz­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. I’ve al­ways en­joyed work­ing and I’ve al­ways loved what I do. It’s amaz­ing. I feel very lucky. Is it hard to deal with the at­ten­tion? I don’t, that’s the thing. I walked here. There are cer­tain things I re­ally have to get my head around and have a word with my­self about and think about and un­der­stand, but es­sen­tially, no. Have you changed? Peo­ple’s per­cep­tions of you change. You’ve done some­thing that peo­ple think is good, that you’re wor­thy of these parts. And I’m like, well ac­tu­ally, 18 months ago, I was do­ing the same act­ing that I’m do­ing now and no one re­ally thought I was. So I just have to re­mem­ber that. You must check and bal­ance your­self all the time. Can you re­mem­ber what it’s like to be a strug­gling ac­tor? I feel like I con­tinue to strug­gle. I re­ally don’t feel like I’ve reached this plateau. I don’t think that ever hap­pens. I had a child two and a half years ago. My life has not stopped since that point and all the par­ents I speak to just talk about the fact that sud­denly their child’s 25 and they don’t know what the f**k they’ve been do­ing for the past 25 years – apart from want­ing more sleep. It just seems that’s all any­one ever wants. I think ul­ti­mately it’s re­ally im­por­tant to re­mem­ber where you’ve come from, but at the same time you can’t let that de­fine the rest of your life. What did you dis­cover about your­self af­ter be­com­ing a mum? Oh God, all sorts of things I didn’t want to know. I see my­self do­ing things, mak­ing de­ci­sions, talk­ing in a par­tic­u­lar way and I’m like: ‘Who are you?’. I’ve re­alised I don’t want to in­flict my­self on my child. I want to be a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence. That’s why it’s the hard­est thing you’ll ever do. You’ve played many strong women, but would you like to do a rom-com? I refuse to be­lieve that all woman aren’t strong. I wouldn’t say I’d do any­thing, but my aim in life is not just to do this be­cause I’m here. I want to keep my­self in­ter­ested and I don’t ever want to get com­pla­cent, I don’t ever want to take it for granted. So by do­ing that I just want to play all sorts. Obvs, we’re gut­ted you’re leav­ing The Crown – why do you think we’re all so ob­sessed with it? It’s not [be­cause it’s] royal, it’s Bri­tish drama. The Crown, to me any­way, was very orig­i­nal in the sense that it wasn’t at­tempt­ing to put these peo­ple on a pedestal – it was very much about them as peo­ple and what on earth be­ing royal does to you. Do you ever imag­ine the Queen sit­ting watch­ing the show? I can’t think of any­thing worse than imag­in­ing that. I mean as a fan­tasy, yes of course. It’s hi­lar­i­ous. But you could imag­ine any­one. I could imag­ine Ge­orge Clooney watch­ing it. And I don’t know who I’d spend my time imag­in­ing more. That’s a toss-up.

The last two years have been a chaotic whirl­wind

A scene from new film Breathe

Claire in The Crown with Matt Smith as Prince Philip

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