If the script's good, everything you need is in there. I just try and feel it, and do it honestly. I also don't learn things for auditions, because I feel like it's just a test of memorizing rather than being real. Maybe every other actor would think that was terrible, I don't know. But it seems to have worked for me, so far.
You can over-think things. If the script's good, everything you need is in there. I just try and feel it and do it honestly. I also don't learn things for auditions, because I feel like it's just a test of memorising rather than being real.
If I didn't have children I might be more of a lush than I am. I like booze. I struggle with smoking. And I'm a big swearer. I'm trying to rein it in but I do think it's a nice seasoning of language.
I spent years commuting into London when I was working as a temp, and I hated the monotony of it.
My mum was a nurse, and her passion was geriatric care. I used to love listening to the old people's stories in her nursing home and picturing myself in their place. They'd say, 'I went to school in a horse and cart,' and I'd just think 'Wow!' I'd picture myself in their place - acting was a natural progression.
I find Shakespeare terrifying. When Simon Russell Beale does a speech, I understand every word of it, but if I did the same speech, people would be going, 'Huh? What?'
I've always wanted to play a Marvel baddie. I'm not sure I fit the mold, though. Like a powerful, extraordinary woman. Somebody with superpowers would be really fun, but I'm not sure how many middle-aged women they have in Marvel.
You see thousands of films you forget the minute you come out of the cinema, don't you? Because they don't mean anything. It's the tough ones like 'Breaking the Waves' and 'Nil By Mouth' that stay with you, that you never forget. I'd like to leave a few of those behind if possible.
I've always done drama, but I suppose 'Tyrannosaur' was a bit of a watershed moment for me. It was like when Kathy Burke did 'Nil By Mouth' - suddenly, people were saying, 'Oh, she can do that, too.'
I grew up in north Norfolk, which certainly used to have an enormous sense of community. There are more and more second homes there now, so I'm not sure how that has damaged it. But where I live in South London, there is a beautiful community; it's the friendliest place I have ever lived, which comes as a surprise to non-Londoners.
I do sometimes wonder if people think, 'Oh we'll have her because she cries well.' The odd thing is I don't really know where it comes from. If the script is good, I find I can usually cry without too much trouble - in fact, the hard thing is trying to get me to stop. But I'm not really a crier in real life. I'm not a dramatic person, you see.
I'm not a pin-up, thankfully. I'm not suggesting I feel unconfident. I am beautiful to my husband. I am beautiful to my friends. I feel sexy and all those things with the people I love.
I was never one of those surly teenagers who doesn't smile. My lovely godfather said it was always lovely to see me because I was the only teenager who smiled. And I was so in awe of him, I thought it was one of the best things anyone had ever said to me. So it made me want to live up to what he said.
I remember doing one of those computer careers tests. It told me I'd make an ideal HGV lorry driver because I've got 100 per cent spatial awareness. I'd be able to back them into tight parking spots.
I used to want to be in 'Downton' because I had never been in a period drama, but then I did 'The Suspicions of Mr Whicher' and had to wear one of those frocks and... I didn't feel very comfortable.
I am just an actor - all I do is I memorise someone else's words and tart around.
I think a good dollop of sadness is quite a useful thing in comedy sometimes. I think if everyone's happy all the time, it's a bit dull. It's like salt and caramel - you wouldn't imagine they would go well together, but they do.