Daniel Radcliffe taught me the German for nipple: Brustwarz, which means breast wart. I told Daniel, ‘Every time I think of nipples now, I’ll think of you.’ And all my part involved was flirting with James McAvoy. That was one of those days when you think: ‘Yeah, I’ve got a pretty good job’.
—  Louise Brealey on her cameo in Victor Frankenstein

Sherlock star Louise Brealey talks touring, feminism and reading love letters with Benedict Cumberbatch

Louise Brealey admits to feeling “brainmushed”. The actress, best known for playing Molly Hooper on BBC1’s Sherlock, has been having “anxiety dreams” about her forthcoming role in the tour of Nick Payne’s Constellations, a line-learning Marathon des Sables of a play.

“Rehearsals,” she says drolly, her hands wrapped around a coffee she never sips, “don’t even start for three weeks.”

She has a more familiar project to return to first. Tonight is the opening night of the third season of Letters Live, events celebrating the art of correspondence, at Freemasons’ Hall in Great Queen Street. Brealey, who performed in last year’s series at the Hay Festival, will be reading letters alongside her friend and Sherlock co-star Benedict Cumberbatch, as well as a dream roster of other famous names including Ben Kingsley, Dominic West and Ian McKellen.

“It’s the most amazing high — you feel this intense connection with the audience,” the 36-year-old says. “Normally, if it’s just me standing up and not hiding behind a character, I can get frightened. But reading these letters, I feel more bold than when I’m acting, because it’s not about me.”

Friend of Sherlock: Brealey adores working with Benedict Cumberbatch, who she says  has a “technical brilliance” The challenge, she says, is to “get out of the way”: “If you start acting them, it’s obnoxious and embarrassing. You have to say it with as little spin and as much truth as you can muster when they’re not actually your words.”

Cumberbatch and Brealey will read love letters to each other, the correspondence of RAF man Chris Barker and his ex-colleague Bessie Moore. This, I suggest, will make many Sherlock fans — the “Sherlolly Shippers” — very happy. “Yeah, for the group who want Sherlock and Molly to live happily ever after, it’s a thrill to have Benedict and me reading these love letters.” The pair will then star in a Chris and Bessie play broadcast on Radio 4 on April 20.

Brealey, a self-professed hoarder, keeps her love letter collection in a tin in the attic. Those she received at university and school have “became threadbare with the reading: you knew every smudge, crease, and turn of phrase. Even now, I could probably quote you chunks.”

What’s the particular power of a love letter? “Sometimes you can write it, even when you can’t say it. Bessie and Chris are emboldened by the distance.”

Brealey will also read a letter written in 1912 by Clementine Churchill to The Times. It is a response to an article arguing against female suffrage; Churchill — writing anonymously — takes it to its logical conclusion: women should be abolished altogether. “It’s a witty take down,” Brealey says. “I feel surprised that more than 100 years later the fight for equality is not over.”

The recent feminist resurgence thrills her. “People are understanding that it’s not about thinking men are pricks, it’s about social justice. But it’s no good feminism feeling like a white, middle-class women’s club. We have to bring with us people of colour, transgender people, disabled people and men and boys or we are pissing in the wind.”

Aided by social media (she has 176,000 Twitter followers), she has become many a woman’s girl crush; there’s even a Buzzfeed post called “28 Reasons To Worship Louise Brealey”. She’s also an honorary big sister to many adolescents. “Some girl will write to me and say, ‘I’m the only feminist in my school and I feel so alone’, and I’ll write back and say, ‘I’ve got your back’. These young women are feeling the sharp edge of sexism in a way that perhaps I didn’t.”

That’s not to say she never experienced it — both professionally and personally. She was sacked from a job in journalism “and replaced with a chap the boys who sacked me had been to school with”. Then there was a night out at university. “We were at a party in the countryside and people hadn’t worked out where we were sleeping,” she recalls. “I ended up going to sleep in this chap’s hotel room. There had been nothing at all [between them]. But when we got into the room, he tried to get off with me. I was petrified and locked myself in the bathroom until he fell asleep and I ran away.” When she told people, some said: “You shouldn’t have gone back to his room.”

As an actress, she notes a dearth of parts for women generally: “People talk about a lack of roles for older women, but it happens all the way through. It just gets worse when you’re deemed less attractive; once they stop wanting to have sex with you they’re not interested in your stories.”

At this point, Brealey’s phone flashes. Her casting in Constellations has accidentally been revealed early. The play — which was first performed at the Royal Court in 2012 starring Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall and won Best Play at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards — is about multi-verse physics, told through the prism of a love affair.

Brealey was so desperate to be in it, she broke her usual rule of not doing tours. “It gets under your skin, into your blood. There are very few jobs that feel like that. It’s a very specific encounter, but it weirdly tells you about your life and the decisions you’ve made.”

It’s a tough gig, though. “It’s just two of you for an hour-and-a-bit, talking. You’re playing different iterations of one person, so it’s a challenge how you manifest those changes. Things happen to people and they affect your voice, how high you hold your chin.”

Typically for this polymath (Brealey is a playwright and journalist too), the Constellations challenge isn’t enough: she also plans to write a book while touring. I ask how she juggles so much. “Honestly, I fart around like everybody else. The great thing about touring is that I won’t be able to go to the fridge every 15 minutes to see if something has miraculously appeared for me to eat.”

Brealey says she is very grateful to Sherlock for opening so many doors for her. The cast are all now so in demand that new episodes only trickle out — they shot the Christmas special in January. It will move away from the series’ contemporary setting to the Victorian era, but other details are top secret. “I have a nice wig.” Brealey laughs. “It was amazing to see Ben and Martin [Freeman] in the clothes you associate with Holmes and Watson, because I thought it would feel like a jolt, and look really weird, but almost instantly it just felt right. It wasn’t strange at all.”

She adores working with Cumberbatch (“he has a technical brilliance that you then entirely forget when you’re seeing his work”) and says watching Freeman is an inspiration: “The man’s a robot, but in the most brilliant way. He’s so precise: everything is thought through.”

The pair have competition for the position of ultimate castmates, though. Brealey has just filmed a cameo in the upcoming Victor Frankenstein. “Daniel Radcliffe taught me the German for nipple: Brustwarz, which means breast wart. I told Daniel, ‘Every time I think of nipples now, I’ll think of you.’ And all my part involved was flirting with James McAvoy. That was one of those days when you think: ‘Yeah, I’ve got a pretty good job’.”

Letters Live 2015 is at Freemasons’ Hall, WC2 (letterslive.com) from tonight until April 4; Constellations is at Richmond Theatre (0844 871 7651, atgtickets.com/venues/richmond-theatre) from June 23 to 27

31.3.2015 (x)

Found this in an interview from 2013:
  • Interviewer:Brandon Flowers is a Mormon.
  • Daniel Radcliffe:Exactly, which is still mad to me! I met [The Killers] when they were touring England, and it was the first time I’d ever been backstage to meet a band, and I thought, “Fuck, this is going to be so rock ‘n’ roll!” and I went back there and they were looking for a bottle opener because they hadn’t got one, so I said, “Yeah, I’ve got one!” but then my obnoxious friend who I was with barged past them and nicked one of their beers. I’m sure they still have fond memories of me!
  • source:http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/10/15/daniel-radcliffe-on-kill-your-darlings-love-scenes-and-what-s-next.html
'Harry was a figment of Ron's imagination' admits J.K. Rowling.

This morning came as a shock to many readers when author J.K. Rowling announced that Harry Potter, the subject of her wildly popular septology of the same name, is actually the imaginary creation of young wizard Ronald Weasley.

“Oh yes!” said Rowling in an online interview that bore a spooky resemblance to talking to Tom Riddle through his diary. Her screenname? Squidward7.

“There are hints…signs everywhere…” said Rowling. “Throughout the books, I thought it was quite clear. People just don’t remember because of the movies. They didn’t explore that idea in any of the movies.”

It’s true; this particular running theme was unanimously left out by all four directors of the movies for being “too sad.”

“I mean think about it,” said Rowling. “His brothers are doing their own things, he feels pressure to be great, so he gets on the train and pretends he’s introducing himself to a celebrity and savior of wizardkind that wants to be his friend.”

Although the books are written from the third person omniscient point of view and center on Harry, Rowling says that this is a device specifically meant to imply that the books were written by Ron to detail Harry’s adventures throughout his years at school.

“One of the most classic symptoms of a delusional mind is the need to see the world in a way that revolves around yourself,” said Rowling. “In this way, Ron creating Harry, the figurative and literal Chosen One, and making this figure actively fight for Ron’s friendship at points, is the most textbook example I can imagine of a person willing to distort reality to make the universe bend around them.”

“Also, he was sad and lonely and didn’t have any friends,” said Rowling.

Indeed, this revelation may explain several plot points, such as Ron’s many abilities that are introduced and dropped out of nowhere (chess playing, and eventually Quidditch), his constant descriptions of himself as brave and trustworthy and awesome, and his eventual fate to end up with Hermione, the heroine of the story.

In fact, according to Rowling, the character of Hermione was based on a real life crush he had on a popular girl during his time at Hogwarts.

“Ronald Weasley was quite troubled at school,” said Rowling. “So he wrote these books as a sort of therapy. What he couldn’t predict was how popular the books would become in the wizard world, and then through me as a halfborn muggle representative to the muggle world.”

We asked Rowling if she was admitting that she didn’t actually author the popular Harry Potter series.

“Of course not,” replied Rowling. “I translated it for a muggle audience, yeah, but Ronald is the real author. That’s actually a common misconception.”

Rowling, who has long been a fan of the internet and its language style, claims that the J.K. before her name on the cover is meant to mean “Just Kidding,” a tribute to Weasley, the real author.

“Lol,” typed Rowling.


“Well, I can certainly see why we’re trying to keep them alive. Who wouldn’t want pets that can burn, sting, and bite all at once?”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire