The thing about great fictional characters from literature, and the reason that they're constantly turned into characters in movies, is that they completely speak to what makes people human. They're full of flaws as much as they are full of heroics. I think the reason that people love them and hate them so much is because, in some way, they always see a mirror of themselves in them, and you can always understand them on some level. Sometimes it's a terrifyingly dark mirror that's held up.
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I've had my body manipulated so many different times for so many different reasons, whether it's paparazzi photographers or for film posters. [The topless Interview shoot] was one of the ones where I said: 'OK, I'm fine doing the topless shot so long as you don't make them any bigger or retouch.' Because it does feel important to say it really doesn't matter what shape you are. I think women's bodies are a battleground, and photography is partly to blame. Our society is so photographic now, it becomes more difficult to see all of those different varieties of shape.
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I worked with John Maybury on The Jacket and I think he's an extraordinary film-maker. I read the first drafts of this piece when I was working on The Jacket, and we'd so fallen in love with him that we thought he was the only person that should direct this! We wrote poems for him, we sent him champagne and cakes. Four years later he finally read it.
You live with a writer [a mother], and you grow up with their words, their kind of fantasies, and I'd pretty much seen every single one of her plays, and been in a lot of rehearsal rooms, so it felt very natural and easy. It was lovely to get an opportunity to do that professionally as well.
I think you've got to take the risks. There's no point playing it safe, because either you'll get bored or the audiences will get bored. Sometimes, you're going to make mistakes, and that's fine, but you have to take the risks. I think Pirates is one of the prime examples of that with Johnny Depp's performance, and part of the reason that people love it so much is that you watch it and go, "Gutsy, really gutsy!"
I don't know what happened through the '80s, '90s, and '00s that took feminism off the table, that made it something that women weren't supposed to identify with and were supposed to be ashamed of. Feminism is about the fight for equality between the sexes, with equal respect, equal pay, and equal opportunity. At the moment we are still a long way off that.
I think I always disappoint people, because they always expect someone very pretty. Very done. There's so much pressure to be thin, blonde and busty. I'm skinny, but even I couldn't fit into some of the clothes in L.A! In a funny kind of way, I think you create it yourself. I think it's much better to go with the flow and embrace your body, whatever shape it is, and just be happy.
I love costume dramas, I love performing in them, because in a funny kind of way, you feel more free. You know about the period, you can read the books, you can see the paintings, but you've never actually going to know what it was like. You can kind of stretch those boundaries a bit.
Humans who see something different than them want to hate it and tear it down. Britain had a government policy that allowed prejudice to destroy someone's life, and today there is still homophobia at home and elsewhere, like Russia or Greece. It's still a relevant discussion. While women have it better than the 1940s or '50s, sexism is still prevalent.
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You watch him playing Jack Sparrow, and he's loving it, and he's loving being in that world. He's still excited by it. Sometimes, he'll even say, 'Was that OK?' And I'm thinking, 'You're Johnny Depp man, you know that's OK!' But he doesn't. He's still going to [director] Gore [Verbinski] and asking for help. It's a privilege to see the human side of Johnny. It's really exciting.
I didn't know this about myself, but when 'Pirates of the Caribbean' came out I realised that I didn't enjoy a huge amount of recognition. I didn't react to it well, but I think life is about finding out who you are and what you like. So I started doing independent movies and art-house films instead.