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Hotel Rwanda - Sophie Okonedo Q&A



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. I wondered for a young lady whether it was possible to switch off from this story when you were filming?
A.
I've always experimented with trying to switch off at the end of the day and never quite succeeded for most of the parts I've done. I certainly have my family there and stuff, so you have to get on and make dinner or whatever in the evening. But I think part of the telling of the story of Hotel Rwanda will always stay with me. I haven't quite found the technique for just switching off.

Q. Was this a role you really wanted to grab a hold of as soon as you got hold of the script?
A.
Oh yeah. It was at the stage in my film career when I wasn't having any film scripts coming through my door, but when you get a film script that you actually think is fantastic, it's just a thrill. It's a sort of part of an actor's dream, so I was begging Terry to give me the part.

Q. Where were you when you heard about the Oscar nominations and how did you react?
A
. I was in Kenwood House in Hampstead Heath with my mum, sitting on a bench looking at a couple of paintings. And I was certainly - and still am - in a deep state of shock. I mean a lot of the actors that have been nominated have got a few accolades before, there's a build up usually in America where the award season starts - you get Critics' Circle and Broadcast this and Broadcast that, or whatever, and I went from 0-60 like that. So it was just a real shocker.
And my mum was screaming her head off in Kenwood House. We got told off my security, who came over and said 'be quiet or get out'. So we wondered toward the door with my mum going 'I don't give a fuck, my daughter's just been nominated for an Oscar!' And then when we got to the door, everyone in the art gallery that heard us gave us a round of applause. Which was very nice and very emotional.

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