This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
“I’ve had enough fussing about with tea cups.”


The actress Kristin Scott Thomas is currently starring in the demanding role of Electra at the Old Vic Theatre in south London until December. Julia Llewellyn Smithmet the Oscar-nominated star to find out more.


I


n the late nineties, Kristin Scott Thomas was one of the biggest film stars in the world. Following a crisply comic


performance in Four Weddings and a Funeral, she went on to star in Mission: Impossible and The English Patient for which she was nominated for an Oscar. In 1998, she had just finished filming The Horse Whisperer with Robert Redford when she saw Zoë Wanamaker starring in Sophocles’s Electra on Broadway. That night, she decided to wind down her film career. “At the time I was feeling very, very tired,


very frustrated with films, and the play was just so meaningful to me about life – my life and others. I started to weep and everyone around me, men and women, was doing the same thing.”


All of a sudden, Scott Thomas knew she


had to change course. “I had this burning desire to communicate big ideas, to deal with strong visceral emotions, not to fuss about with tea cups like so many of my


characters do on screen. Tea cups and fruit tarts, I was at the stage where if I’d had to walk on set with another fricking fruit tart, I’d have screamed. Seeing Zoë, I thought, ‘Aha, that’s how I do it.’ ” Sixteen years on, Scott Thomas has made


a remarkable transition from screen actress – she now accepts only occasional film roles – to one of the most respected stage performers of her generation. Having behaved like a self-confessed


‘absolute horror’ with certain film directors she didn’t respect, in the theatre she has developed a strong bond with the Royal Court’s former artistic director Ian Rickson. He directed her in four acclaimed West End productions: two Pinters and two Chekhovs, with her Arkadina in The Seagull winning her a best-actress Olivier award and raves when it transferred to Broadway. So when Scott Thomas told Rickson of her


yearning to try her own hand at Electra, the Greek princess seeking vengeance for her murdered father, he responded eagerly.


> www.essence-magazine.co.uk 7


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84