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Monday 22 January 2018

Insider Interrogation with actress Sally Hawkins

Sally Hawkins
Sally Hawkins

The Oscar nominated star of Paddington explains to Stephen Milton why she dreads Sundays, worships Cate Blanchett and why the concept of 'cool' is definitely up for debate​

What are you promoting today, and why?

My new movie Paddington, directed by my very close friend Paul King. It has such an amazing cast like Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Nicole Kidman, Ben Whishaw. I've only seen a small portion of the movie so far and it looks truly brilliant.


What is the most rewarding thing about your life?

My family, my friends. And love. And health. That they're all okay. Are they good answers? I imagine everyone says the same thing.


Why do you do what you do for a living?

Because I love it, because I've been lucky enough to stay employed. When that stops happening, then I'll have to rethink. I'm very aware of how lucky I am to do this job. It's sort of... it feels such a privilege. It's hard work but that's why it's great fun as well. When you get to the other side, it's so satisfying. Sometimes it doesn't work, so when the good ones hit, you feel such a sense of achievement. You're sort of giving joy to people. To be in the entertainment business is a really wonderful thing to do and I know how important films are for me and stories and story makers, and to be working with people I consider to be extraordinarily talented and bright, like the Woody Allens of this world, that's kind of rare. I'm so grateful for that. I love what I do and it makes me happy that it makes people happy. I never really understand when people see it as a hardship. It's an honour. It's hard work but when you're doing things well, it should be. I love it all; rehearsals, the whole process. It makes my heart glow.


If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I apologise too much. I do that a lot. There are many things but what am I going to admit here? Apologising for yourself isn't very attractive. And I worry a lot, it's not a good trait. No point getting stressed about stuff that doesn't matter.


What's the rumour about you that's bothered you the most?

I'm nowhere near interesting enough for the press to make up stories about. Which is pretty wonderful in this position. I'm not a fan of interviews. I find I never get across what want to get across and things be slightly twisted or said in a way that you think you didn't say them. So golden rule - never read interviews.


It's Sunday night, you're curling up to watch TV. What's on your DVR?

I want to get into The Bridge. And Boardwalk Empire, my folks are avid fans. I wanted to wait 'til it was over, like Breaking Bad, so I can watch the entire series in one go. And The Killing, I love that. God, there's such great TV out there.


What's the most shamefully uncool album you own?

I have many. Too many. Although uncool is the coolest, isn't it really? Bonnie Tyler, she's not uncool. Cool's a tricky concept. Oh, and I was a big fan of the Now compilations. The cassettes. I love cheese but I haven't bought any recent cheese.


Who is your best friend?

My parents. I think we've always had a lovely bond, both separate from the other. I call them all the time.


Do you like being well known?

I'm not well known. I think it's wonderful for film, it gets you more work but I don't think I'm recognisable. I know there was the Oscar nomination but I still feel like it's a job I love doing. I see people I've worked with like Cate [Blanchett] and Nicole [Kidman] who deal with it so well, when it starts to invade your personal life and has an effect on your family. That's really tricky to deal with. Thankfully, I don't have to concern myself with that.


What drives you on a daily basis?

Just the day itself! What's new? What could happen? The potential, the opportunities awaiting you. I find all that exciting. And knowing I'm happy doing a job that I love, that's the ultimate goal, right? Or at least one of the important ones.


Who is your hero?

So many. Woody [Allen] is someone I admire so much. And Cate Blanchett. She was before I met her and is so much more now after seeing how she deals with life and who she is in life and as a woman in that world. She's the ultimate for me. One of those women you want to be when you grow up.


What makes you emotional?

Family make me emotional. Children and missing my family, missing friends.


What's your favourite day of the week?

Friday! Come on, is there any other? Although Thursday is the new Friday. I don't know, I exist in a weird world. I don't have a nine to five but I still get that Friday feeling. And I still get that 'Sunday night, Songs of Praise' dread. The 'homework isn't done' panic.


Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Hopefully, I'll be still lucky enough to be making people happy. And this job is making me happy. And to work with other heroes of mine. The best part of this job is when you're working with people you really love, who you call your friends and you're still involved in that creative process. And hopefully, doing a bit more writing. Whether that will be ever shown to the world, who knows? As of now, that's just for me. And I also want to be more involved in family life. Just as long as I'm happy.


Sally's CV

2004 - Stars alongside Daniel Craig in 'Layer Cake'

2008 - Wins a Golden Globe for 'Happy-Go-Lucky'

2013 - First Oscar nom for Woody Allen's 'Blue Jasmine'


Paddington is in cinemas tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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