The Finding Your Feet actor tells Janet Christie why she’s happy to take a break
Imelda Staunton has been baking soda bread, lots of it. And binge watching Peaky Blinders. Having a rest. And this is an actor for whom ‘resting’ is not just a euphemism for in between jobs. She really does need a rest. At 62, with a new film, Finding Your Feet, out this week, a storming performance in a six-month run of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the National Theatre behind her, London-born Staunton is enjoying some downtime.
“I’m having a little break for a while,” she says, although even now she’s phoning as part of a day-long junket promoting the film. “I’ve done a lot of theatre recently and I want to stop for a while because I want to have a life,” she says, sounding much younger than her Aunt Lucy Paddington voice, and more sweary. “Bloody hells” and “Christs!” cut through the well modulated RP, reminding you that working class London is as much part of her DNA as RADA. Finding Your Feet was made back in 2016 then it was straight onto a year of live performance. “The second half of last year I did Follies and the first half I did three months of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in the West End and that nearly bloody killed me! When I’m doing theatre I do not have a life, and that’s what I’m doing now. It’s really nice to recognise that I want to be at home and do the things I want to do, and not have to every day think about my voice, or my body or what I’m eating, or that I’ve got to rest before a performance – all that,” she says then her voice rises in excitement, “Oh great, I can go out! “In my job I’m really lucky because I play all these different people and have many lives, but it’s also important to say OK, I need my life now, and I’m gonna really, really enjoy it. It doesn’t take much to make me happy, just a good walk with the dog, a nice holiday with my husband… I do an extraordinary job, therefore I want to do ordinary stuff.” [ . . . ] Read more at The Sotsman: Interview: Imelda Staunton