June 10,2017
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Interview

Rama’s Screen: Hi, Holliday, I’m a big fan of your work in “Jane Eyre,” “Cinderella,” and “The Finest Hours,” so congratulations on “My Cousin Rachel.” What was it like working with director Roger Michell and your co-star Sam Claflin and specifically with Oscar winner Rachel Weisz

Holliday Grainger: “So brilliant, I mean working with Roger.. he knows exactly what he wants, he has a subtle confidence, so free and easy because the world that he creates is real in every aspect. I’ve worked with Sam a couple of times before so it kinda felt quite easy like a long term friend relationship. But it’s so beautiful watching Rachel perform. Hers is such a complex character, I kind of had my own idea about her from the book and then watching Rachel subtly changed my idea about the character.”

Rama’s Screen: Obviously, Louise is a completely different type of character from the one you played in “Cinderella,” opposite end of the spectrum, so talk to me about your approach for Louise. Because in a way, I kinda feel sorry for her, she has feelings for this man who doesn’t return those feelings.

Holliday Grainger: “I liked Roger’s script and loved it, straight away read the book afterwards. And I think that the adaptation stays true to the tone of the book and it encompasses the world and the whole emotional dynamic between the characters that’s very true to the book. So I think Louise is emotionally complex but she doesn’t over-pinpoint anything which kinda leaves you the audience with these questions and ambiguity. And you can kind of make up your mind. I think I kinda of got a sense of Louise from the book and from Roger’s script, she’s obviously in love with Phillip but he’s not at that stage yet. Childhood friends and Louise is becoming a woman far sooner than Phillip becoming a man and he doesn’t even notice that she’s got these feelings for him.

And then Rachel comes along. And so along with that the jealousy and the potential resentment that Louise could have but I do feel like from the book and from the script, she’s very patient and she wants the best of Phillip. And her sisterly nurturing aspect comes out first and foremost before her thought of jealousy as a woman therefore she manages to have some sort of self-restraint and is still being open with Rachel, to take a step back and allow Phillip to make his own mistakes.”

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June 10,2017
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Event   Interview   My Cousin Rachel   video

March 28,2016
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Holliday   Interview

Actress Holliday Grainger still can’t believe she has a stylist.

The 27-year-old star found early success playing various characters on British TV shows, before hitting the Hollywood big time with period films like Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina and Great Expectations.

She’s now a fully fledged A-lister, which means she has a stylist on hand to help her dress for red carpet events.
“If you would have told me two years ago that I’d have a stylist I would have been like, ‘shut the f**k up. Who do you think you are?’” she laughed to Britain’s Marie Claire magazine. “But Rebecca Corbin-Murray offered to sort out clothes for me for BAFTA this year for free and it was so lovely and easy. You can literally say, ‘This is the kind of look I want’, and someone will do your shopping for you. And I hate shopping!”

Her dislike of shopping means Holliday only ever picks things up when she needs to kill time, including when she’s waiting for a flight. In fact at one stage the Cinderella actress’ wardrobe was completely dominated by airport purchases.

“I tend to only shop at airports when there’s that hour before your flight,” she explained. “There was a period of my life where my entire wardrobe was from Mango, because I was flying from Manchester airport a lot and at the time I was the only shop there I liked. Now if it’s from Heathrow it’s Zara or Fat Face – I have so many Fat Face swimming costumes.”

(source: Belfast Telegraph)

February 19,2016
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Interview   The Finest Hours   video

January 30,2016
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January 30,2016
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Interview

Q: For the majority of the film’s action Miriam is wearing a pair of very high heels, which is crazy, because she’s out and about driving around in a blizzard most of it.

A: We actually had conversations about it! She was coming from work, so she would have been in heels, but it came down to how comfortable was I in heels? I said it was fine…and then cut to 7 am in the freezing cold, and I can’t even put toe warmers in the shoes because there’s no room for air to circulate so they can activate.

Q: There’s also the lack of tread…

A: They’re pretty good about putting sand down and things—there’s a lot of people on set making sure an actress doesn’t break a leg!

Q: You wore basically the same outfit the entire movie. I assume there were multiples of everything?

A: Yes, there were a couple of those dresses. You wouldn’t believe how many layers I could fit under that thing! By the time I had a coat on at the end, there was a discussion of someone wanting me to keep it open. And I was like, “Hell no.” If I shut it, I can have 7 jumpers on!

Q: So you were genuinely cold filming?

A: I spent a lot of time as a kid filming on Yorkshire Moors, so I’m used to being cold on set and trying to look like I’m not. There was a shot in the movie where Miriam leaves her car [to walk outside] and in some of the focus groups they kept bringing it up, saying “She doesn’t look cold, she doesn’t look like she’s been walking through the snow.” And I’m like, “I whaaaaaat? DO YOU KNOW HOW COLD I WAS SHOOTING THOSE SCENES?!?” I think it’s some of the only shots of mine that they ended up taking out. But that’s actually hilarious because I was so cold.

Q: Is that genuine snow covering the Nantucket landscape most of the time?

A: It was fake. But I believed it. Even my manager came up and was like, there’s so much snow. It wasn’t, it was all fake. But because it was so cold, I completely forgot it was fake. In the end, I think we ended up changing the fake snow to real snow. So it’s real, but it didn’t fall from the sky.

Q: Speaking of real—this is based on a true story, which is crazy, because if I didn’t know that, I would have said this movie just stretches the audience’s belief a bit far. Like this tiny boat going out and managing to save over 30 guys in a hurricane strength storm? Yeah right.

A: It really happened. And if you listen to interviews with [the real life hero] Bernie Webber afterwards, he’s amazingly humble about it and he so pushes the fact that he didn’t do anything special, it was just his job. I mean, if it were my job, I’m not sure I could achieve that. But, also, some of the events are so coincidental or unexplained, he describes it as an act of God. God was on his side. One of the coast guards at one point got washed off the boat by a wave, only for the next wave to put him back on the boat. I’m like, “I MEAN…” That was for real genuine.

Q: Early on in the movie, Miriam proposes to Bernie and he says no. I have a theory about that: I think Bernie then went out on this crazy mission because his girlfriend proposed to him and felt emasculated.

A: I like to think that Bernie’s got far more integrity and honesty in his soul! That’s one of the reasons why I love Bernie in this movie. He seems to not have that macho pride, in my head, anyway.

Q: I was actually surprised when he said ‘no’ to Miriam’s proposal.

A: He knows how dangerous his job is and he doesn’t want to like have that responsibility for someone else when he already has that responsibility for other people’s lives. I think that’s why it’s such a happy ending that Miriam goes on her own journey to understand this community, to come to terms with it, to face her own fears, so that at the he can say, yes, it’s all right because you know what you’re letting yourself in for.

Q: You take on a Boston accent for this movie…

A: We did a lot of tweaking of the accent as we were going along because obviously we wanted it to be identifiably Boston but at the same time she’s college educated and works at a call center, so she’d be actively trying to be eloquent. I was always concerned if I was sounding like I was doing a Boston accent but not doing it well if I was doing it “semi”. There was always constant discussions of how much “rrr” should I put in this sentence, like, when will it come out, when won’t it. I still feel like I only got it towards the end of the movie, so there are still scenes in this one where I’m like, “Ugh God, I wish I could redo it.”

Q: Was this an easy character for you to channel?

A: It took a little while to feel like I had found her, but I got to meet one of Miriam’s contemporaries, and that really help me get into her mindset.

Q: What did meeting that contemporary reveal to you about Miriam?

A: It was a different era of strength. It was not just about female independence. It was a strength of a mind, of going for what you want. For me, I found it difficult initially to marry the idea of strength and self-assuredness with a strong desire to get married. For me the two seem like a dichotomy. Miriam’s self-assurdness is that she knows what she wants and she wants Bernie, and there’s certain amount of strength in standing by your man, which is almost like a maternal protection for a family she hasn’t quite had yet.

Q: She is very sure of Bernie. She knows what she wants. Are you like that?

A: I’d love to be more like that, but I’m definitely thinner-skinned than Miriam. It feels like she’s not phased by Bernie’s no because it’s like she knows he doesn’t really mean, “No, I don’t want you,”, but “No, it’s just not right yet”. There’s such strength to be able to feel comfortable in your own skin at that kind of rejection. They’ve got a magnetic surety about their relationship. But I do think I’m an instinctive person, if not quite so outwardly as Miriam.

Q: When have your instincts been really spot on?

A: I kind of do it with life and work. This sounds so wanky, but I do feel like if you project a feeling or a surety of how something is going to go, it tends to be all right. Quite often if I get to a point where if I haven’t got the next job I want to do, if I just really imagine what is it that I want to do next, then it seems to come along. And if I’m not sure, then I’m lost. It’s almost like I need a certain amount of self-assurety for it to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Q: A kind of mental vision board?

A: Yeah! If I put it on there then it happens, and if I’m wandering around lost, I will just wander around lost.

Q: When you do feel lost about something being presented to you?

A: I think my first instinct is always right. I could answer “yes” or “no” to a job within the first 10 pages of reading a script all the time, but I never let myself. I always go through this long process of deciding, and then I will always come back to my initial conclusion. But at least I know I’ve made the right one by then. Miriam would know, she would just say yes or no sraight off. I’m far more a procrastinator. I’m an instinctive procrastinator!

source

January 27,2016
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January 13,2016
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August 28,2015
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September 27,2014
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Interview

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Who is your acting inspiration?
Cate Blanchett. After working with her [on Cinderella], I can say she is actually the image of feminine perfection. She has her really lovely kids on set, is super professional, incredibly intelligent and nice to everyone. I think she might actually be a perfect human being.

What are you must-haves on set?
A bottle of water, my sides [mini-scripts] and some chewing gum – you have to get up close in people’s face all the time and you might have just eaten some onions.

What’s the hardest thing about your job?
Realising that a lot of it isn’t acting. You spend such a short amount of time on set in character, compared with the nerves, the preparation for audition and then all the press stuff. It was hard coming to terms with the fact that this is all part of the job.

What’s the biggest difference between British and American actors?
A director once told me that Americans focus on a scene whereas Brits focus on the project as a whole. I am not sure if I agree, but I suppose British actors tend to be a bit more earnest in their research, they treat it as a craft, and Americans go to acting class more. So Brits are more cerebral and Americans are more practical.

Have you had an ‘Oh my God, I’ve made it’ moment?
When I finished my degree, I had a lot of work lined up and I freaked out. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I am actually an actor.’ As a kid, I thought I’d do something proper like writing or directing or producing. Acting is not a real job, is it? I pretend to be someone else for a living.

How do you handle being naked on set?
I just don’t think of myself as sexy, so it’s fine. It’s like when toddlers get naked. When wardrobe come up to me with a towelling robe after a naked scene, I’m like, “Dude, everyone’s just seen it, it really doesn’t matter.” I get a little excited when I get to take off my clothes on costume dramas. The sets are usually boiling hot and I’ve been in a corset all day, and I get to take it all off and lie on a bed, and I think, “Ahhh, I can do this.”

Have you ever been starstruck?
I froze when I walked past Judi Dench at Pinewood. All I could do was hold the door open and squeak, “Hello.” Thank God [co-star] Jack O’Connell was coming up behind me and introduced himself. So then I could mention I was also starring in Tulip Fever with her. I put on a posh voice. It’s Judi Dench. She is a proper lady.

What’s been the most glamorous moment of your career so far?
Going to the Baftas. Where else do you see so many people in so many beautiful dresses? It’s like a fairytale.

What’s been the least glamorous moment of your career so far?
I spent a day on Tulip Fever plucking chickens and gutting fish. I played a 15th-century maid and the director and I thought it would be boring if I was just cleaning the whole time.

What was your fancy dress outfit of choice as a child?
Peter Pan. He lives between Victorian London and a fairytale world, mermaids fancy him and he can fly. He is cool. I had a Peter Pan T-shirt that I would wear with a belt, wellies and leggings.

What’s the most surprising track on your iTunes?
I have some breathing exercises from the voice coach Penny Dyer that begin “Hello, Holliday” in a quite breathy voice. If I have my iTunes on shuffle and that comes on, it scares the shit out of me.

What was the last selfie you took?
On the set of Tulip Fever. It’s set in 1600s Amsterdam and we wore these ridiculous hats that look like penises. There were also a lot of pigs’ heads on set, with their eyes vaguely open, so I took a picture of myself licking a pig’s head in my knobhead cap.

What’s been your biggest fashion faux pas?
The whole Peter Pan obsession fed into my teenage years. I wore a lot of floaty dresses and boots in all shades of green. I was 19 and refusing to grow up.

What makes you angry?
Racism makes me burn with anger. When you are a liberal-minded person living in a multicultural society surrounded by similar people, you forget that it isn’t the norm. So when I was in the Deep South, I would be having a drink with someone and they’d say something that would make my blood run cold.

What makes you laugh?
My nana’s laugh and my mum when she has a giggling fit.

Why was it so important to continue your degree after your acting career took off?
Because I thought my acting was never going to last, and I had been saving up for it my entire life. I had to work pretty hard. There were a few afternoons of crying in coffee shops, writing essays in between acting jobs, when I wondered what I was doing. But I am proud of myself for seeing it through.

source

September 21,2014
Tania   /   0 Comments   /   Holliday   Interview

Holliday Grainger is not, repeat not, posh. But she is also well aware that there might be a perception problem here.

‘I think a lot of people assume that I am a posh, public-school blonde, and a lot of people are shocked that I’m not.’

The assumption, she admits, is forgivable. First there’s her name, like something straight out of an F Scott Fitzgerald novel (her parents were just playing word association with Mollie and Billie, she says). Then there’s her recent career, where she has shone in an array of well-heeled roles, many of them with her brown hair dyed a regal blonde, playing every shade of aristo from Lucrezia Borgia in the TV series The Borgias, to a baroness in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina and Estella in Mike Newell’s Great Expectations. Not to mention Lady Chatterley, the role she starts filming next month (opposite Game of Thrones’s Richard Madden as her gamekeeper-lover Mellors), in the new Jed Mercurio-directed adaptation of the D H Lawrence classic, to be screened on BBC One next year.

Her latest role in Lone Scherfig’s film adaptation of Laura Wade’s award-winning stage play Posh, now called The Riot Club, might also suggest a degree of la-di-da-ness. Except that in The Riot Club, for once, her character is the working-class heroine.

The film charts the course of one anarchic evening gone bad for a crop of filthy rich, entitled and thoroughly spoilt students at an Oxford University dining club – evidently The Riot Club is based on the Bullingdon Club, the exclusive all-male society at Oxford notorious both for its illustrious former members, including David Cameron and Boris Johnson, and also for their heavy drinking and sometimes dreadful behaviour.

The film boasts some illustrious names from the cream of young British acting talent – Douglas Booth, Freddie Fox, The Hunger Games’s Sam Claflin, Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay and Game of Thrones’s Natalie Dormer. Holliday’s Lauren is the chalk to the braying poshos’ cheese, a grounded Northern girl who falls in love with new recruit Miles (Max Irons) and tries to steer him away from the club. Lauren was a character created especially for the film, and it’s hard to imagine that Laura Wade didn’t have Holliday Grainger in mind, so striking are the parallels.

‘I do see a lot of me in Lauren, actually. She’s a Northern girl, not posh, who is obviously very intelligent and quite socialist in her views. She has got into Magdalen College along with the boys. I think of her as representing the modern Oxford, Oxford as it is now – except the truth is that there are still elements of The Riot Club at Oxford even today. Some of the male actors did their research and chatted to people, and it actually sounds as though what goes on in this movie is quite tame compared to what happens in real life.’

Holliday has been acting since childhood, in a string of roles from the BBC’s 1994 comedy All Quiet on the Preston Front (when she was six), via Where the Heart Is and on to Waterloo Road, before her big break in The Borgias. But in all that time, Lauren, she says, is ‘the only character I haven’t had to research. She’s the only one that I wasn’t nervous about because, basically, she’s me.’

Not only is Holliday from Manchester, smart and engaging, but she applied to Oxford herself – and to Magdalen College. ‘I went for four days of interviews at Magdalen. I didn’t know it was the most oversubscribed college. I just basically chose it because it looked pretty and had wi-fi. I arrived at the interviews and I was the only Northern girl there.’

What she also didn’t know was that Magdalen has a reputation. ‘It’s the very posh, old-school college. I was shocked when I arrived at how “other” I felt. I was always sort of the posh one at my local comprehensive [her mother, who raised her, was a graphic designer] and so I had never experienced feeling so working class and Northern – even though I’m not!
‘After a couple of days at the interviews, some jokes started to go round about the “two Northerners”, which was me and this guy from Birmingham. I was, like, “Mate, Birmingham’s not even in the North.” But I’m not sure they were too bothered about the geography.

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