Sienna Miller: ‘I feel relatively immune to bitchy criticism now’

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The British actor set out to emulate Meryl Streep but terminated up being portrayed as the next Kate Moss. Now with the tabloid assaults behind her, she talks desire, Leveson and The Lost City of Z

Sienna Miller is captivating company, but as she talks I find myself thinking about Harriet Harman instead. The veteran Labour MP spoke not long ago about the mysteriously elusive timing of a womans prime; when young she is a floozy, too flighty to are serious about, then motherhood casts her to the margins, and by the time her children have grown up she is over the hill. Every woman will recognise the conundrum, but likely none more than Miller.

We last met in 2009, when the actor was approaching the end of her 20 s, and knew all about not being taken seriously. As Jude Laws girlfriend, she had become famous overnight at 21, even before her first big film Alfie was liberated. Blonde and vivacious, shimmering with boho swanks, Miller was a gossip-column daydream, and a series of romances with Rhys Ifans, Josh Hartnett, Jamie Dornan and Balthazar Getty fastened her reputation as a good-time party girl. Imagining she was going to be the next Meryl Streep, Miller observed herself cast instead as, at best, the next Kate Moss, at worst the scarlet woman.

She is now 35, lives with her four-year-old daughter Marlowe in New York, and is visiting London where reference is meet. Mesmerisingly beautiful, she retains a playful air of mischief, but is no longer a staple of the celebrity pages, and produces an wholly quieter life. She is, she recurs more than once, only half-joking, get old .

I think, she tells, it took a long time to get to a degree where people assured me as relevant actors, and respected that side of things. Does she feel shes there now? I would say I was. I suppose, within my industry, people suppose I can act, which is nice , not only put one over a coin belt and run down the street away from photographers. That perception of me was really strong and that was hard to overcome. But I suppose I ever did work that I felt was competent, and showed things.

Millers body of work includes the Edie Sedgwick biopic Factory Girl, the Steve Buscemi two-hander Interview, and The Edge of Love, in which she played Dylan Thomass wife Caitlin and got nominated for a Bafta. More lately, we assured her in the Palme dOr-nominated Steve Carrell drama Foxcatcher, and in Clint Eastwoods American Sniper, the highest-grossing campaign film of all time. Last year she played Ben Afflecks vivacious but flinty moll in the prohibition gangster movie Live By Night, and in her latest film, the Lost City of Z, based upon a true tale, we will see Miller as the Edwardian wife of a British explorer who becomes preoccupied with find a semi-mythical lost city deep in the Amazon.

Even The Lost City of Zs director, James Gray, has admitted he underestimated Millers talent until killing began, and she is one of the highlights of an otherwise instead plodding film. She had been reluctant to take on another wife at home role after American Sniper, and I can see why: the majority of members of the movies action takes place up the Amazon, while she is back in rural England creating the explorers children. She was similarly peripheral in Live By Night, another instead dreary film in which she was one of the best things, fizzing and crackling whenever on screen. Having proven to everyone that she can really act, it must be very frustrating to be confined to minor parts; I wish she was playing leads, and presume she must, too.

Well, its suited me since I had Marlowe to do these portions with these great film-makers, because this took a month, American Sniper was three, Foxcatcher was three weeks. I can, kind of, pop up in these classy things. School holidays will allow her to co-star with Jack OConnell in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Apollo Theatre in London the summer months, in a 12 -week run, but that stretches the limitations of the study motherhood will enable. I do feel disappointed sometimes by the fact that I want to get those roles. I watch movies and I know how Id do it and I want the possibilities of. But at the same day you were supposed to strategise in ways that, I dont know, that I merely havent done.

What would that involve? Oh, shmoozing and doing something to get foreign value. Foreign value? She reads my blank face and giggles. Foreign value. Numbers. You know, person like Jennifer Lawrence has foreign value. She can get anything financed, she has foreign value for sure.

Click to recognize a trailer for Sienna Millers latest film, The Lost City of Z.

Im curious about what Miller would have to do to accrued some foreign value. I would probably be the lead in a Marvel film. Im not averse to doing something like that, she adds quickly. Im not went on to say that at all. But in order to get to be the star of a film of that kind, for people to bank on you in that style, this is necessary numbers. I cant get a film financed in the way that you would need to. Its all about numbers. Which is absolute bollocks, because you can have two movie stars in something and if the movies crap it can construction nothing. The whole way that the industry is set up is numbers, and it doesnt add up, theyre horrible at the numbers. Registering my look of commiseration, she smiles brightly. But Im not frustrated. I feel quite content.

Really? Well, she explains, its a huge commitment to have the ambition to be playing those parts and to be doing those roles. I dont are well aware that I have that, the ambition that it takes, the drive that it takes. Yes, I suppose I have subconsciously shied away from that, I suppose the idea of that is daunting.

Miller grew up in a instead glamorous and affluent transatlantic household, studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film institute in New York City, and has always struck me as utterly dauntless. I suppose, from a really young age, I had a real confidence, she agrees. I had no doubt in my head thats what I would do. I wanted to be, like, in my own head I was like Meryl Streep. I hadnt made it much supposed, like most things, but its like, that was my job, thats what I wanted to do, and there was never any doubt in my mind.

Its actually a really interesting lesson in how much your own confidence and sentiment can influence things. You see it with Donald Trump. Not that I was like him, she adds hurriedly. I mean, patently, thats a really sinister example. But you can perfectly manipulate the situation if you do not allow for doubt within it. I went into every audition believing that I could get this, and there was something about that confidence people were like: Oh! that I think was disarming.

I ask if she still has it. No. Its whittled away. Where did it run?

I dont know, I suppose life just sort of happened in quite a full-on style, and I merely learned during experience to merely become you know, I just lost some of that innocence and positivity, which is growing up, which is getting older, which happens. Would she like it back?

No. Im merely more realistic now. It used to be that everyone was lovely and everything was great and I was so positive and I merely couldnt wait to live and experience. She smiles. Now Im a bit older, and a bit more tired all the time.

Sienna
Sienna Miller, photographed at The Lost City of Z press conference in Berlin. Photo: Collet/ Sipa/ Rex/ Shutterstock

I cant help feeling that a film about Millers life would be as interesting as anything she has appeared in. There is a dark, nearly Victorian, subtext to the narrative of moral disapproval that denounced Miller for having about 1% of the fun that young male actors are allowed to enjoy with impunity. Didnt that attain her furious?

I was always quite good at being aware of the futility of those emotions. Whats the degree of perpetuating the frustration that I felt by experiencing it? I didnt need to sit there get bitter. But, yes, altogether. It is still altogether unwarranted. Although now I suppose with social media, I look at young girls who are friends of mine, who are of a similar nature, and theyre so in control of their own image that the media has lost its power. In those days, you two are what they said you were, and that was frustrating.

Millers name still appears on clickbait listings like Hollywoods 10 Hottest Homewreckers. There were rumors of an affair with Daniel Craig while with Law, but it was her summary relationship with Getty, a married father of four who soon returned to his wife, that sealed her tabloid disrepute. Did she internalise the disgrace she read about?

Of course, yes. Yes, wholly because it was everywhere or I felt like “its been”. It was very personal, and then you sort of suppose, well, is that who I am? Then you get older and youre like, oh, fuck that.

Sienna Miller gives evidence to Leveson investigation

In 2011, Miller made indication to the Leveson investigation, in which she described being spat at and abused by paparazzi, and after she successfully sued the News of the World for telephone hacking she says her life improved dramatically. I feel most powerful, definitely. It changed the terms. But then I also feel like if anyone wrote anything now it would not bother me. I dont feel like I could get the disgrace. I have enough of a sense of my own ego and my own life and who I actually am. I dont suppose I really did back then, because I dont think you do when youre that age, and so I merely it was just an assault, I merely felt like I was being explosion with personalities that merely perpetuated the behaviour that they wanted to perpetuate. It was a strange experience. But nowadays I feel relatively immune to that kind of bitchy criticism. I dont feel like I am concerning enough now to be focused on in accordance with the rules that I was. I dont want to go out to a tavern every night and get pissed. I dont want that drama.

In 2012, she became engaged to Marlowes father, the British actor Tom Sturridge. The couple split two summers ago, but he remains absolutely my best friend; the couple live close to each other, expend Christmas as a family and are regularly photographed on days out together with their daughter. Were often together at weekends, and hes there now with his mum and her in my place. Its all frustratingly amicable from an outsiders point of view, but really blissful to be in.

She would, she tells, love to have more children Id like an army of them but giggles that she has always been hopeless at stimulating plans.

You cant change whom you. Ill ever be the same person. I merely grew up a little bit, got pregnant and had a kid.

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