British actress Emilia Fox has become patron of a new butterfly sanctuary in the U.K, after falling in love with the winged insects when they fluttered overhead on her wedding day.
The Pianist star is backing the huge $40 million (£27 million) Butterfly World in southern England, which has been founded to preserve the future of the delicate creatures in Britain.
Fox was asked to support the project by lepidopterist Clive Farrell, the expert who helped her find different varieties of butterflies to flutter around her as she married her now ex-husband Jared Harris in 2005.
She tells Britain’s Daily Telegraph, “I get a lot of requests to be involved in things and I think you have to pick the ones you really care about and can do something to help. I was immediately bowled over by Clive’s passion and jumped at the chance.
“Butterflies are the canaries in the coal mine as far as conversation is concerned. Their fragility exposes what’s going on around us.”
Emilia Fox has joked she was jealous when her young co-star Robbie Kay told her he had been cast in Pirates Of The Caribbean 4.
The Silent Witness star plays Robbie’s mother in forthcoming film Ways To Live Forever, in which the 14-year-old plays a boy suffering from leukaemia.
Emilia revealed: “Before Christmas I did a film called Ways To Live Forever about a little boy who had cancer with a brilliant actor called Robbie Kay, who’s just phoned me to tell me he’s got a job in Pirates Of The Caribbean. I told him I didn’t want to be replaced by Penelope Cruz in his life and that I was slightly envious that he was going to Hawaii for 10 weeks – and does he need a chaperone?”
Ben Chaplin also stars in the film as Sam’s father, and Emilia reveals making the movie, due out later this year, was very emotional.
She said: “The very thought of having a child who gets a terminal illness like that, I don’t know how you deal with it. I think there are incredible people and incredible families who find their way of dealing with it. So we all got very close on the film and remain friends.”
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Emilia Fox has revealed how she practised getting drunk to play an alcoholic in a new film.
The 35-year-old Silent Witness star will appear alongside Dougray Scott and Jodie Whittaker in time-travelling romantic thriller Harmony later this year, as alcoholic Doris.
Emilia revealed: “We all played three different ages of our character. Mine was a rather unfortunate character who descends into severe alcoholism and misery.
“Playing an alcoholic was very interesting since I’m not a very big drinker so I tried, I thought how can I experience getting drunk?
“I’ve got a mechanism in me that goes ‘I don’t want anymore alcohol’ so I very, very rarely can remember getting drunk, but I did attempt to get drunk to know what the feeling was like on this film, not on my own I have to say, I don’t recommend it.”
She added: “I suppose what was interesting about it acting wise, whilst you’re playing drunk you feel like you need to be sort of slightly overly relaxed and not in control of what you’re doing and yet actually when you are quite drunk you’re trying to take control so you’re a lot more studied and concentrated, so it was trying to get that balance which was quite interesting.”
Butterflies seem to love Emilia Fox. When I meet her in a polytunnel in Hertfordshire they are clinging to her hair and clothes. “They only like me because I’m covered in rotten banana,” admits the 35-year-old Silent Witness star, whose father is the actor Edward Fox. “But for me they’ve always been these mythical, elite creatures. I suppose I’m overly romantic. I love flowers, too – you’ve got to smell those chocolate anemones.”
This is a girl whose first experience of true love was that of her canaries, Samson and Delilah, when she was a small child. “Samson would sing all day and Delilah, who was voluptuous and sexy, would sit on her eggs,” she says. “But she laid too many and died and Samson never sang again. We got him a new lover but she was ghastly and henpecked him and he went to the back of his cage and fell off his perch. It was devastating.”
When Fox married fellow actor Jared Harris in 2005, butterflies fluttered about her head as she came out of the church. Unfortunately, the relationship ended in divorce last year but it is roses once more in Fox’s life. She has recently announced she is expecting a baby with her boyfriend, Jeremy Gilley, 40, a documentary film-maker.
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Silent Witness star Emilia Fox is pregnant – three years after a miscarriage led to her marriage split.
The actress, 35, is expecting her first child with film-maker and charity campaigner Jeremy Gilley, 41, in the autumn.
A friend said: “They’ve only just started telling people. Emilia hasn’t always had it easy, so we’re pleased for her.”
Last year Emilia revealed she suffered a miscarriage with then husband, Jared Harris, during their threeyear marriage.