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“On a film, you sometimes have no communication with the other actors, apart from sitting around gossiping. It’s just chucking lines at each other, so narcissistic. Here there’s such respect, you want


everyone else to do really well, you’re not worried about someone else standing in your light.”


family, those cheekbones!” says Rickson. Electra, like all the plays in this Old Vic season, will be staged in the traditional round. “If you’re watching it in a frame, you can step back a bit; this makes the audience much more implicated,” he says. “In fact, it’s dangerous because if it works, the audience’s empathy will be grafted onto the protagonist and they’ll be complicit in murder.” “You’ll feel people’s eyes in the back of


your head, boring into you,” says Scott Thomas, adding: “I’ve been having nightmares about murder all through the rehearsal period.” Whose murder, she won’t say. Scott Thomas was raised in Dorset, but


since 19 has been based in Paris, home to her French ex-husband, gynaecologist François Olivennes, with whom she has three children, now aged 26, 23 and 14. She makes it clear that personal topics are off limits, but says for the next 18 months home will be London. “I’m going to be doing something else


acting-wise, I can’t say what, but it’s exciting. After that, we’ll see. I’d like to direct a film at some point, but will that ever happen? I don’t know.” She waves her arms in the air. Her refined looks, not to mention her best-


known roles as brittle English aristocrats (A Handful of Dust, Gosford Park), mean Scott Thomas is perceived as haughty – certainly she comes across as guarded – but Rickson claims that her outstanding quality is “incredible openness. If you have that and a work dynamic, which Kristin does, then you


can do some incredible questing and searching, dropping deeper and deeper into the work.” After so many ‘lonely’ years doing crochet in film trailers, she relishes theatre’s camaraderie and the immersion process that is Rickson’s speciality. “I love it,” she says. “On a film, you sometimes have no communication with the other actors, apart from sitting around gossiping. It’s just chucking lines at each other, so narcissistic. Here there’s such respect, you want everyone else to do really well, you’re not worried about someone else standing in your light.” Simultaneously and paradoxically, she has


the buzz of knowing that the show lives or dies by her performance. “In films, they can edit and cut you; on stage, you have complete control. Ian gives me instructions and we work through stuff together but if I turn up at the opening night and decide I can do the whole thing standing on my head, no one can stop me,” says Scott Thomas. “There’s something incredibly exciting and dangerous about that.”





Text: Julia Llewellyn Smith / The Daily Telegraph / The Interview People


essence info


Electra runs until 20 December 2014 at the Old Vic The Cut London SE1 8NB Website: www.oldvictheatre.com Box office: 0844 871 7628


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