Ignoring fame was my rebellion, in a funny way. I was insistent on being normal and doing normal things. It probably wasn’t advisable to go to college in America and room with a complete stranger. And it probably wasn’t wise to share a bathroom with eight other people in a coed dorm. Looking back, that was crazy.
I didn’t just want to play [Anne Boleyn] as this femme fatale – she was a genuine evangelical with a real religious belief in the Reformation. The show was an absolute joy because it was an amalgamation of my two greatest passions – drama and history. I read everything by Starkey… good old Starkey… opinionated Starkey… Antonia Fraser, all of them. But there is a lot of sex and violence in the programme, so it’s hard to explain it to the guy in the street who’s saying, ‘The Tudors? Tits, man!’
People say to me, you like to play strong women. I like to say: I like to play women who are terrified, but they find a way through their fear. That’s what the tat on my arm is about. We all feel fear. Fear is a part of human nature; it’s a necessary emotion. The secret is not not feeling it, it’s pushing through it. You know?