I feel this picture was created just to hurt me and Jenks.
Helen McCrory joking with photographers at the Glamour Awards 2013 (x)
New still from The Woman in Black: Angel of Death
peaky blinders → faceless
It might be mid-August when we meet Helen McCrory to shoot Red’sDecember issue, but her hilarious cackle tells you she is looking forward to the festive break. Within minutes, she has the whole team laughing hysterically about her recent purchase of two miniature hamsters and her search for the perfect Emmy dress (her husband Damian Lewis was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Nicholas Brody in Homeland).
Fast forward three hours and it’s starting to feel festive. Talk has turned to winding down for the Christmas break, but for one of the UK’s leading actresses, she’ll be cutting it to the wire.
The last time we saw you, it was as Aunt Polly in Peaky Blinders, an epic post-war drama. It’s the first of its kind we’ve seen in the UK, so it’s exciting to see the way TV is changing.
You find the cutting edge and often the most interesting writing is now coming out of television. You often find that it’s the film studios that are giving us the same sort of formulated work. It’s great if you’re a 14-year-old boy, but a lot of people are sitting there and thinking, “Well, I don’t really want to watch so and so blowing up aliens.” Now, television is really stepping in and grabbing that demographic.
But it’sa great time for women in television too.
I feel very, very lucky to be an actress in her mid-forties at the time when so much good writing is happening for women. It’s so lovely to be at a time when women are being put central in these stories, for the first time in a very long time – particularly in television.
Homeland and Breaking Bad have had a strong influence on British TV. Could we see a shift into TV full-time for you?
I’ve just finished filming Tommy, a 90-minute drama for ITV written by Simon Nye, who wrote for Men Behaving Badly. It’s about Tommy Cooper and the extraordinary relationship he had with his mistress for 17 years, and the stress that put on him. Then after that it’s the next House of Horror film, which will be the sequel to The Woman In Black.
It sounds like a busy year. You must be looking forward to a rest.
Oh I love Christmas because I’ve got little kids. Damian will finish shooting on December 20th, so it will be right up to the line. For us it’s very traditional. We love going out to get the Christmas tree together and putting it on to the roof of our car. Then, on Christmas morning, I throw on whatever I can, Damian’s T-shirt, for just running down the stairs to open the presents, but you’ve got to dress up for Christmas lunch.
It sounds very stress-free.
I don’t get stressed about it probably because I don’t take any responsibly for it. Hopefully someone else will cook Christmas lunch, I’ve still never done it. Isn’t that awful? When you suddenly realise I’m not cooking my own f***ing Christmas lunch and I’ve got two kids and a husband. Maybe it’s just because I’m a domestic cripple and I still can’t cook.
The Emmys, the White House. It’s been a year of whirlwind parties. That must get you in the mood for the festive season?
I love going to parties and socialising – Damian and I are definitely party animals, and our children don’t seem to stop that. We are just party animals for a shorter space of time and with far fewer drinks.
And as for quiet time?
Daydreaming really is important. That time of just wandering around with your thoughts in the kitchen in the morning. I really resent the concept of people being online all the time. I think that would be a lovely Christmas present, someone turning off Wi-Fi in Britain for seven days.