The beautiful English actress talks about her career, her life and her love affair with wine, all above board of course!
You play a cordon bleu chef in ‘Burnt’ alongside Bradley Cooper. In real life, do you like standing over a stove, at Christmas for example?
Yes I do! I always cook turkey. It takes a long time to cook and needs a lot of water if you don’t want it be too dry. If I have to, I’ll spend the whole night in front of the oven. I also cook a ham joint for those who are not too fond of poultry. I like to serve everything with salmon and creme fraiche toasted bagels. Not forgetting the Brussels sprouts! Cooking is really my thing. I’ve got photos of myself as a child, wearing pyjamas, sitting on my father’s lap, stirring something – I’m not sure what – in a saucepan on Christmas Eve. It’s a tradition I’m looking forward to sharing with my daughter, Marlowe, who’s 3.
What type of drinks do you intend to serve with your meals?
I don’t really like mixing drinks. If I start with red wine, I finish with red wine. Same for sparkling wines. If I start with Champagne, I drink it all the way through to dessert.
You said one day, after various failed relationships, that the most serious and long-lasting relationship you had was with wine…
Yes, it’s true! For ten years, wine was a faithful friend to me – though I always drank sensibly. I can’t explain why. It’s got nothing to do with the alcohol content or any type of addiction. It’s just that I always loved seeing beautiful crystal glasses on a table filled with a drink that can constantly change colour. I like to swirl the glass, watch wine dance in the bottom and see the subtle interplay of light. I don’t know, it hypnotises me…
Why do you think more and more women enjoy wine?
For years, people treated us like complete dummies when it came to wine. But we’ve got a palate and taste buds just like men. So I don’t see why we wouldn’t be capable of enjoying a good wine and talking about it in company. In fact, I think women are better at talking about wine than men. It’s like love, the words just come to us easier! And a relationship with wine can only be based on love. When you drink a good wine, it immediately fills you with a feeling of bonding.
How do you manage to stay so sexy?
It’s very simple – four hours putting on make-up, a good night’s sleep and a small glass of wine. You can’t beat tannin!
How much do you think you spend every month on clothes and wine?
It has often been said that I spend a fortune on clothes when, actually, I buy a lot at cheap second-hand stores or in vintage clothing boutiques. But that takes time which is something I’ve got less and less of. I’m even going to make a confession – there was a time in my life when I used to love spending my money on prestigious vintage wines rather than on ‘rags’!
Interview by Frank Rousseau