Kate Bos­worth on swap­ping surf for spy­ing

Sure, she’s blonde, beau­ti­ful and has skills on a surf board. But for Kate Bos­worth, suc­cess hasn’t al­ways come easy. Now star­ring in a huge BBC block­buster, she tells Victoria Moss how she’s fi­nally mak­ing the power roles her own

The Sunday Telegraph - Stella - - EDITOR'S LETTER -

She’s on ev­ery best-dressed list and made her mark as a kick-ass surfer in the cult movie Blue

Crush. But Hol­ly­wood ac­tress Kate Bos­worth’s new role couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent as she stars in the BBC’s block­buster thriller SS-GB (see our in­ter­view on p20). Tonight’s Os­cars are as much about the gor­geous dresses (I per­son­ally wish there were more dis­as­ters, I can’t help it!) as the awards. On p30 we chat to the stylists re­spon­si­ble for get­ting the A-lis­ters red-car­pet ready. And check out our spring shoe edit on p36, with a point, kit­ten, flat and heel to suit ev­ery­one. Have a great week! Mar­i­anne Jones

On pa­per, Kate Bos­worth – beau­ti­ful, blonde, Amer­i­can, of­ten on a best-dressed list – fits a cer­tain Hol­ly­wood mould. And yet, like her strik­ing eyes – one blue, one hazel – the 34-year-old isn’t that pre­dictable a read. For a start, her cheesy rom­com ap­pear­ances have been fairly few and far be­tween; and since her re­la­tion­ship with Or­lando Bloom ended more than 10 years ago, you’d be hard-pushed to pin any gos­sip-col­umn tat­tle on her. As it turns out, she’s been steadily work­ing through a se­ries of psy­cho­log­i­cal thrillers of vary­ing suc­cess, with the odd head­liner in be­tween – she took a small but pow­er­ful turn as Ju­lianne Moore’s daugh­ter in Still Alice (2014).

Kate’s lat­est move fits this pat­tern: star­ring in the BBC’s adap­ta­tion of Len Deighton’s 1978 thriller SS-GB, the sec­ond episode of which screens tonight. The story re­casts the Sec­ond World War in a slightly chilling ‘al­ter­na­tive re­al­ity’, whereby in 1941 the Nazis are run­ning an oc­cu­pied London.

Filmed over four and half months in and around London, Kate ex­plains that to be sur­rounded by Nazi in­signia all day ‘was a dev­as­tat­ing feel­ing. You held your breath, but it never got nor­mal. Then it got more sur­real as you’d have a sol­dier in SS uni­form [on a break] play­ing on his phone – that was bizarre.’

The five-part se­ries has heavy­weight back­ing – writ­ten by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, the duo be­hind Bond films

Spec­tre, The World is Not Enough and Sky­fall; the lead is taken by the ex­cel­lent Sam Ri­ley, whom Bos­worth had wanted to work with since see­ing him por­tray Joy Divi­sion front­man Ian Cur­tis in An­ton Cor­bijn’s Con­trol (2007). Kate plays the glam­orous Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist Bar­bara Barga, who is on as­sign­ment in London to cover the oc­cu­pa­tion. She slinks across the screen: a Veron­ica Lake vi­sion with Katharine Hep­burn quips.

Af­ter read­ing page one of the script, Kate was ‘hooked on this char­ac­ter. I didn’t really know her or what she truly felt un­til the end. The writ­ers al­low the au­di­ence to dis­cover her. She’s a bit of a femme fa­tale.’

She and Sam have po­tent on-screen chem­istry, and the plot is un­pre­dictable. ‘Ev­ery­one in the coun­try feels like they can’t trust any­one,’ says Kate. ‘Bar­bara her­self is falling in love with a man who isn’t will­ing [to com­mit], so there’s that emo­tional conflict as well as deal­ing on a ba­sic level with good ver­sus evil.

‘That’s what’s in­ter­est­ing about this show: ev­ery­one has their conflict about what, how and when to do it. At what point do you stand up against the regime?’

The pe­riod def­i­nitely suits her – and her out­fits in the show are used to il­lu­mi­na­tive ef­fect. Her en­trance in a strik­ing pink coat is key; later on her turn around the dance floor in an in­cred­i­ble ice-blue gown gives her a def­i­nite – and in­tended – Hitch­cock­heroine edge. ‘I’m al­ways very in­volved in the cos­tumes on any project,’ Kate says. She worked closely with the cos­tume de­signer to track down vin­tage pieces, which were ei­ther used or pre­cisely recre­ated to en­sure

Left With Sam Ri­ley in new drama SS-GB

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