Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. Being a mum yourself, how did you approach your performance
in Alexander, especially the things she was capable of?
A. I think the difficulty is to imagine... when you first
read about the things she did, you can't in the modern day understand
or make any kind of sense of it. But I think if most women put
themselves at a time when women had no rights, and understand
this kind of a family structure where it's the next born child
was the son and he became king, he would not be needed at all,
so the survival was different, and the things she had to do in
order to survive were different, and so if I lived at that time
I may not be very different from her. But today I'm a much softer
Q. With so much source material when you're playing a
historical character, where does that end and where do you start
layering on the humanity? Is it a help or a hinderance?
A. I think, for me, the only real pressure is that these
people really existed; that as you get into it, you start to actually
imagine this really was a woman, this really was a man, so you
do start to feel a responsbility, whether you think they were
a good person or not. Whoever they were, they existed so how am
I representing them?
But it is an amazing thing to just think about whether we've come
very far, or whether we have actually gone backwards as people
- you know, in terms of where they were at and what they were
doing. So I think you can learn a lot.
Q. One of the love stories
in Alexander seems to be between yourself and your son, played
by Colin Farrell, which is very strange. How did you approach
A. I didn't actually see, and didn't approach it as anything
unusual in that way in terms of the relationship or anything.
I had researched the mother and I did actually feel that she was
connected to him in a very strong way, and her need for him and
her passion for him and her focus on him was extraordinary and
direct and that's all there was.
I do think she cares for him and wanted him to be strong and therefore
I don't think she would mess with him in a way that might confuse
him. That was always my... and I also as a mother can imagine
how it would break the child.
So therefore I thought no, but there was something unusual and
maybe even more powerful that she has some kind of hold on him
and affected him in a different way.
Q. I know that you filmed part of the movie in Thailand,
so did you have anything to say about the recent tsunami disaster?
A. I think we all, like everybody in this room, are just
shocked and absolutely horrified, and hearts out to everybody
in this situation. And I think we all still don't understand exactly
the scope of what's really truly happened and how many years and
years it's going to take to help rebuild and get back on track
and survive the present situation.
Q. More than a million children have lost their families
in the tsunami, so can I ask in your capacity as a member of Unicef
what you think of the relief effort so far, and what can be done?
A. I'd love to adopt all of them, personally! I think,
of course, there has been a wonderful response, especially people.
Living in England, the response of the English people overnight
was extraordinary, and I think people have pushed their governments
to do even more, which is wonderful, but what I'm concerned about,
and what I'm going to be speaking to people about, is the coming
I think right now it's in the news and money keeps coming in;
I'm hoping that it's distributed properly; I hope that people
on the ground is able to deal with the chaos over there.
So I think in the coming months I'll be talking to the people
who are really going to be starting to deliver the programmes
of building back to the communities. What are we going to do with
the houses and the schools? Making sure they stay focused.