EXCLUSIVE: Natalie Dormer On Female Role Models And Why You Should Believe The Hype About J-Law

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  • We think actress Natalie Dormer might be our favourite thing about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, so we chatted to her to find out more...

    I couldn’t pick just one defining breakthrough role. I like to think that they’re all a part of me. There’s a part of my heart that forever has Anne Boleyn written on it, who I played in The Tudors. Equally, to some I will always be Margaery Tyrell from Game of Thrones, or Miss Julie who I played in After Miss Julie at the Young Vic.

    There’s this game I play when a fan approaches me in an airport or on the tube. The moment they walk over, I like to look at them and work out whether they’re a Game of Thrones fan, or if they’ve seen me in the theatre, or in The Tudors. It’s a fun game to play.

    Privacy is important to me. But it’s not just about sticking two fingers up and saying I don’t want anyone to know my business. It’s an artistic choice. I think that for any actor to convince their audience that they have completely inhabited a character requires a certain level of anonymity. The world is changing so quickly and actors now have this huge platform of social media to interact with their audiences, but I choose not to have a social media footprint. I’m old-school like that.

    Katniss Everdeen has worked wonders for women. It’s wonderful that a strong, three-dimensional female character – whose personality isn’t always palatable – has had the box office reaction that she’s had. There are not enough role models like her. You could argue that TV is leading the way with interesting, multi-faceted female roles with shows like Veep, American Horror Story, Girls and Orange is the New Black. That can happen with film too. Look back to all the classic Hitchcock thrillers. We just need a renaissance.

    Believe the hype about Jennifer Lawrence. She is blazing a trail for her generation and she is everything that her reputation predicts – boyant, fun, full of energy, and that filters down from the top. It was the same with [executive producers] David Benioff and DB Weiss on Game of Thrones. If you have strong leaders, in any working environment, it trickles down.

    Running the marathon is like belonging to a secret fraternity. You get chatting to a driver, or caterer, or journalist and if they’ve also done it, you immediately bond over it and before you know it you’re sharing training plans. I ran it this year and it proved invaluable training for all the running around in thick combat gear that I did for The Mocking Jay. You’ve seen Liam Hemsworth, right? I had to keep up.

    Actors are circus people at heart. We are transient troubadours, if that doesn’t sound too wanky. You bond very quickly because you work incredibly long hours, often in very cold, hot, dirty conditions, so you support one another. The cast and crew are like your temporary family. By my fourth year on Thrones, it felt like going back to school after the summer holidays.

    My inspirations? It would be impossible to choose just one. My first job was with Jeremy Irons. Then there was Ridley Scott, Ron Howard, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Woody Harrleson – I was shooting with him when I was in the middle of watching True Detective and it took everything I had to stop myself pestering him with questions about it. Oh and Julianne Moore – such a talented actress. I’m like a magpie, I take a little something from everyone I work with.

    My oldest friends keep me sane. I’m very lucky to still have the same friends I had before I became an actress. They work in hospitals, or in the city, one is a female CEO and I’m hugely inspired by her. We never talk shop and they help put everything into perspective about what’s important. I love acting but we’re not curing cancer here.

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is in cinemas now

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