With learning lines, before I had Alfie, I'd put it off and think, 'Oh, I'll just have a glass of wine and then do it later,' but when you've finally got a child to bed and you know you've only got an hour, then you achieve so much.
I'm very lucky because I don't half get some juicy jobs. But I can't tell you the number I've turned down in the past 20 years because I wanted to be at home, looking after my son. There was never any question about that. Alfie and I are dead close. I can't bear it when he's away.
In 1990, I was in 'The Three Sisters' at the Royal Court and won the Clarence Derwent award for my supporting role as Natasha - the prize was £100. I could have paid the gas bill, but I ended up buying a porcelain and silver Bavarian coffee set in an antiques shop in Penzance.
Corinne Bailey Rae I listen to a lot, and I'll hear Desert Island Discs and quickly write down the name of a song, and it will open up a new area of music for me. I discovered an Argentinian guitarist, Jose Luis Bieito, on Classic FM.
It gets easier as you get older because life deals its particular hand, and our experiences get deeper, richer, more profound. When I gave birth to my son, something happened. It is a huge thing for a woman: a whole set of emotions you never had before arrives, and a love you never had before in your life is now on tap.
I think that distributors and marketing companies realise that there are a huge number of women over 40 who want to go the cinema and see films about themselves. Women of my age don't want to be force-fed with stuff about 25-year-olds.
I quite like that people tend not to know my name. I remember being at the Cannes film festival for 'All or Nothing.' I looked very different in the film - I had a little greasy bob and no makeup. I went to a dinner after the screening, and everyone completely ignored me. I got a real buzz out of that.
For Kitty Gilbert in 'Topsy-Turvy,' I had to get to the point where I could improvise in the style of 1880, which is difficult. The research for that was huge.
I had left school at 16, gone to stage school - and, until I was 22, I hadn't really played anyone but myself. Then in 1979, I made a film with Mike Leigh called 'Grownups,' which went out on the BBC, and overnight this new career opened up.
I still sing, but completely for my own pleasure. I play a nightclub singer in 'Sparkle,' but I'd like to pursue it a bit more. I sang at a friend's 60th at Claridge's the other month; I did 'Baby It's Cold Outside' with the actor Hilton McRae, and 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow.'
When I gave birth to my son, something happened. It is a huge thing for a woman: a whole set of emotions you never had before arrives, and a love you never had before in your life is now on tap.
I got invited to what's called the Gifting Suite in Toronto. I had the day off, so I thought I'd go and see what's what. You come out laden with wonderful stuff. Apparently, if you go to the Oscars, you get given things like iPads. Not that I'm in it for the swag.
I had two starts, really. The first was going to the Italia Conti stage school, aged 15. I'd gone to sing, but one day I found myself doing an improvisation and thought, 'Oh God, I quite like this acting thing.' The second start was meeting Mike Leigh when I was 22. He showed me I could play people that weren't like me.
When I make films, I work with Mike Leigh, who's the most prolific director in England.
I'm a big fan of Edouard Vuillard, so I'd like anything by him - particularly a painting called 'Madame Hessel on the Sofa.' His work is realistic without being literal: I can really imagine what Madame Hessel is thinking.
Anyone who has to write an obituary for me one day will probably say, 'She did absolute depths of agony really well.' I'm not, however, an unhappy person.
I had this exceptional classical music voice. If I'd followed a true path for my talent, I would have ended up being an opera singer.
Oh, there's so much ego with men; in their head, they can't possibly think about Tesco's when they are doing Othello. Er, why not? They want to think that they are such geniuses they can't muddy their day with domesticity, and I've got no truck with it whatsoever.
For me, the times in my life when I've been single have been more formative and crucial than I could have imagined. I can cope, function and be happy on my own. I'm highly capable. That doesn't mean I don't like being with a partner, or that I don't feel more rounded when I'm with someone. But the times on my own have been so good.
I was champion soprano of Sussex when I was 16!