There’s a nice interview with Emilia featured on Harper Bazaar’s website – you can read it below:
Bazaar joined the patrons of the BAFTA Academy Circle (a patron scheme to support BAFTA’s charitable initiatives) for afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason to hear actress Emilia Fox talk about her acting career – as well as the reality of being on the set of Silent Witness.
What’s the reality of life on a film set?
Reality is it’s very ordinary; today for example (Silent Witness) our base is at the bottom of a Tesco car park on the Cromwell Road. Most people are surprised by all the hanging around there is – and you shoot so little a day. The thrill is producing something, in the moment, with people you have often only met that day.
How does being on a long running show affect your role?
After 10 years there is a familiarity to it all, which makes things easier. You can help each other out and you can make things a little playful. For example, on Silent Witness, there was a scene where we were searching a little boy’s room and the story was a bit dry so I chucked socks at David. I couldn’t do that with someone I’d just met.
How do you learn all the medical jargon on Silent Witness?
I have to make up riddles to help me remember the terminology on Silent Witness. Often I don’t understand what I’m saying until I’m on set and you have the ‘dead’ body in front of you. I’ve worked on improvised films before and they are a nightmare! You arrive on set thinking there’s so much freedom because you’ll be making up the lines. Jared Harris, who I was married to, told me to be careful with improvisation. When a part is scripted, the actors take forever to say their lines because they think about it before they say it – but with improvised films there is a general panic, everyone says their lines at the same time.
What was it like growing up as part of a Fox dynasty?
I get asked this so often. Genuinely I didn’t know, as my parents are very private and down to earth. They didn’t have a strong relationship with the media. I do remember moments of glamour – such as Jack Nicholson and Angelica Huston arriving at our flat. I have this vivid memory of the door opening, seeing them standing there in sunglasses, and thinking, “That’s really weird why are they in sunglasses at night?” I then dropped the canapés.
How did your role in Pride and Prejudice come about?
I was still at university when Simon Langton was directing Pride and Prejudice. He rang up my mum and asked if ‘Millie would come in and test’. I walked into the audition, blushed and was shy – and I had that ‘Georgina’ quality. Then of course I wanted to go to drama school but my parents insisted I did my degree. They were right – it’s good to have a plan B.
Why do you think TV has such an impact?
I remember asking Ray Winston why he was doing Henry VIII on TV and he said “because more people will see it on TV”. That was before the ‘big box set series’ thing happened. With television you’re going into people’s houses – it makes it much more personal.
Do you have any other stage roles lined up?
The last play I did, before Rapture, was Les Liaisons Dangereuses. It was such an unpleasant experience that I swore I’d never do theatre again. I didn’t want to go through that experience of being in a live moment, when you felt the audience laughing at you and not with you. The relationship between actors and critics is very interesting. When reviews become personal, if you read them, they can really stay with you. I saw a lot of actors on Dangerous Liaisons being really hurt by the reviews. At the time, I thought, “Why would I put myself through that?”
Who do you admire in the industry today?
Emma Thompson is at the top of her game – and will remain so all of her life.
I love the part where she chucked socks at David