At the end of the day… Elizabeth Hurley
For years I’ve lived between London and Herefordshire, but spent the whole of lockdown in the country. There were nine of us and I felt quite anxious about feeding everyone and keeping us all safe, but I also really enjoyed the uninterrupted stretch of time at home. I hadn’t spent so much time with my family since I was a teenager, except this time round I couldn’t lurk in my bedroom and play loud music: I had to be team leader.
I’m used to hosting Christmas, but a 14-week invasion was something else. I loathe staying indoors when it’s good weather, but I’m lucky to have some land, so I did at least 40 hours’ manual labour a week and bullied everyone else into helping me.
My real life is divided into ‘work-work’ and ‘work’: ‘work-work’ is filming, shooting campaigns, charity work, personal appearances, business meetings and anything else where I have to be somewhere at a certain time. For this I’m extremely disciplined: I eat and go to bed early and don’t drink alcohol. ‘Work’ is being chained to my laptop, running my beachwear company, writing, developing ideas, organising my houses and doing endless mounds of paperwork. For this I’m in sweatpants and a ponytail and discipline goes out of the window – I go to bed late, eat standing up at the fridge and drink endless espressos.
Lockdown was liberating because I didn’t constantly check emails and panic about deadlines. I only washed my hair when I needed to shoot some beachwear or support a charity. I shot Kurt Geiger’s S/S ’20 campaign just before lockdown and they made a shopping bag to support the NHS, so I shot that at home along with some masks designed by architect Ron Arad, also to raise NHS funds.
I recently got a Fitbit and have become manic about hitting at least 10,000 steps a day. My work for the Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign is a huge part of my life and through this I have really learned the importance of taking your own health seriously. I’ve been working with Estée Lauder for 25 years and I swear by Advanced Night Repair, the best serum ever invented. I regret ever sunbathing and now use SPF 30 and wear a big sunhat. I’ve lost count of how many of my contemporaries have had cancerous cells removed.
We had a no TV until 6pm policy during lockdown and sitting down together after dinner en famille transported me straight back to my childhood. There was plenty of squabbling over the remote, but we got through six seasons of The Americans, three seasons of Ozark, all of Breaking Bad – wow, what a show – and lots of black and white ’50s movies.
I’m at ‘work-work’ right now, filming up in Yorkshire with John Cleese and Kelsey Grammer. I’m at my most relaxed shooting a movie: walking on set is like stepping into a warm bath. Lockdown is beginning to feel like a hazy, half-remembered dream. In spite of the anxiety, I can honestly say it was the first time in my life I literally stopped to smell the roses and appreciate everything I have. Elizabeth is one of the faces of Kurt Geiger’s S/S ’20 campaign