I worked on live studio drama, which was one weird aberration in the 1980s. I worked on the 'Battle of Waterloo,' and my job was to reload the Brown Bess muskets - the only time the audience realised it was live was when somebody leant on a button and plunged the whole studio into blackout.
I didn't really realize I was a woman director until I walked onto the set at Pinewood Studios when I did 'Mamma Mia!' and everybody was calling each other 'Governor' and 'Sir'... and then, looking at me, 'Well... good morning!'
'The Handmaid's Tale' is a horrifying and horrifyingly possible vision of the future.
It's the job of the artist to take something that everybody thinks they know about, they've made a decision about, they will be immovable on, and to shine a light on it.
I was given a mask of myself by Frances Barber when we opened 'Julius Caesar.' I looked much younger and prettier. Wearing it was certainly cheaper than Botox.
I was hellbent on going to drama school, but my mother, rightly, panicked and persuaded me to go to university on the grounds that a degree would be 'something to fall back on.' Whilst at college, I realised I wasn't good enough or robust enough to be an actress.
In a way, the debate about Margaret Thatcher in Britain has just gotten fossilized in this notion that she is either this she-devil who wrecked the industrial base of the country and ruined the lives of millions, or she is the blessed Margaret who saved the nation and rescued us from our post-war decline.
In London, it's quite a rarefied activity to be on an analyst's couch.
I have been very lucky, and I think it all goes back to state subsidy for the arts. I gained my training and confidence and credentials in the not-for-profit world, and in England, that does not mean on the fringe of things. It means right at the centre.
Frankly, I find it very odd that, in a population that's more than 50 per cent of women, that Hollywood isn't producing more movies to cater to that audience. The demographic is being grossly underserved, in my opinion.
In management terms, directing opera certainly prepares you for a film set: the magnitude of it, the experts in other fields that you have to call on. Both are massive ensemble jobs in which there's incredible pressure to get things done on time and on budget - so much so that making the wrong decision may be better than making no decision at all.