27 November 1961 |
London, England, UK
|Known for||James Bond
|Spouse(s)||Alexander Hanson (1989â€“present); 2 children|
I've always had this sneaking suspicion that I get a kick out of the insecurity.
When I got on stage, I would have a rush of adrenaline; everybody gets it. Normally after the first night it becomes more controllable, and as long as I could ride the wave, I was still in charge.
Something like 'Sex And The City' was insulting – women all clawing on to their youth when there's such ripe territory in honestly exploring women's lives as they get older.
One of my earliest memories is of being about three and a half, climbing through the legs of a man who I didn't know was the famous actor, Patrick Magee.
I'm very shocked when I look at television and I see such an aggressive youth and image obsession in the representation of women on our screens.
As a child, I always remember our home, which was a flat just on the Barnes side of Hammersmith Bridge in London, buzzing with actors such as Patrick McGee and Peter Bowles. We were a family who were always on the go.
I get so nervous before I go on stage that I can never eat very much, so I'm always completely starving afterwards and dying for a bowl of pasta.
I lost a girlfriend when I was in my 30s. She was 46. It all sounds so trite, but I put a Post-it on my dressing-room wall. It said, 'The past is history. The future is a mystery. This moment is a gift, which is why it's called the present.'
The bravest thing I've ever done is fly to New York. I'm simply terrified of aeroplanes – I am the woman you see weeping at the airport.
The big thing that Moneypenny changed was the amount of charity work that I was able to be involved with.
It's always been a dream of mine to be Ginger Rogers or Cyd Charisse, and here I am performing alongside Robert Lindsay and being directed by a major Broadway producer. Who said dreams don't come true?
Inside my heart, there's a 12-year-old girl who has always wanted to be Ginger Rogers.
My father Philip was an actor and appeared in everything from 'The Onedin Line' to 'Hedda Gabler' with Dame Diana Rigg.
Filming is quite exciting because every day is different, but it can involve long hours standing around in chilly locations. Theatre is a very different challenge because every night you're striving to keep it fresh, even though you might have been performing the same play for months.
It's one of the oldest theatrical adages: never work with children or animals.
I had absolutely no idea of the scale of its following and the globalness of 'Bond'.
Sometimes I'll work through the crossword sections of three separate papers.
If you put people up on pedestals, there's only one way for them to go, and that is down.
I adore acting; it's in my blood – quite literally – but I can honestly say the most creative thing in the world for me is being a mother.
I've been married to the same man – even after the separation – longer than most people in this business. I'm sick to death of people mentioning it.
I'm an appalling flyer. I get very tense, although I no longer weep uncontrollably for no reason – I just sob if there's turbulence.
Not a lot of people know this, but I'm very good at mathematics. When I was an angry teenager, I used to sit in my room and do quadratic equations to calm myself down.
I grew up without the rose-tinted look at the profession many of my friends had, but I've been very lucky playing major roles in 'An Ideal Husband', 'Arcadia' and 'The Memory of Water'.
I think one of the most important things I can give my children is the right to be themselves.
If I pop off and do something drastic, everyone's going to realise because they know I'm 50. Anyway, middle-aged women are sensational.
When women's parts are being written, they are more and more for under 30s who are nubile and beautiful. Actresses over 40 are finding very little happening.
I think that as you get older, you become aware of everything that could go wrong.
I managed to slip two children out in the middle of my career and have been lucky with all the work.
Agatha Christie holds special personal memories for me because my mum, a television producer called Pat Sandys, had been the first person to persaude the Agatha Christie estate to put one of her stories on T.V.
I have to be careful what I eat before going onstage, to avoid an upset stomach.
My nickname is Bondy. But not because of the Bond films – it was my surname a long time before I did those.
'Downton' is one of the best jobs in the world, and I'm looking forward to the next series for Maggie Smith's wicked sense of humour.
The middle-aged woman is the ground bed of the audience that watches television, and yet they are absolutely invisible.