The Duchess of Cambridge joined the Queen and Prince Michael of Kent for a reception in honour of the Queen’s 60 years as patron of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, held at Buckingham Palace. Among those on the guest list were international stars such as Uma Thurman, Joely Richardson, Joan Collins, Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Roger Moore, John Hurt, Ralph Fiennes, Timothy Spall, Alan Bennett, Edward Fox, and Michael Sheen. Amongst many others, the royals were treated to a performance by Dame Helen Mirren, who recited Prospero’s Our Revels Now Are Ended speech from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Later, Inside the White Drawing Room, the Queen greeted a line-up of stars, including Alan Rickman, Sir David Attenborough (representing his brother Richard who was too ill to attend), British film director Steve McQueen and comedian Lenny Henry, who made a joke about Helen Mirren’s film performance as the Queen. Pointing to the 87-year-old monarch and joking with McQueen, he said “This is Helen Mirren. She’s brilliant.” Later, Kate and Helen joked about an incident the previous night where William had jokingly called her “Granny.” Helen said of Catherine: “How delightful she was. Very sweet.” And about the Queen, she said: “I am genuinely always attracted by her aura, her twinkle.“ Actress Ms Horrocks asked the Queen about the honorary BAFTA she was given in April last year and the monarch replied that she saw it all the time. "I keep it on the TV,” she said.
Throwback to Helen McCrory being hilarious in an old BAFTA interview
Interviewer: And of course the other way round the film just behind Gravity is Twelve Years A Slave a British Director Steve McQueen a British star Chiwetel Ejiofor, you of course acted opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor on the Almeida didn’t you stage in London in the play Triumph Of Love…
Michael Fassbender Talks Coping With Fame, His New Year Resolutions And Marriage
Born in Heidelberg to a German father and Irish mother, Michael Fassbender, 36, was brought up in Ireland, where his parents ran a restaurant in County Kerry.
It was his intense portrayal of IRA prisoner Bobby Sands in Hunger (2008) which won him several international awards, followed by a role in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.
He’s recently been nominated for a Golden Globe for his latest role as Epps, a brutal plantation owner, in 12 Years A Slave, his third collaboration with British director Steve McQueen.
Have you ever met anybody as vicious as Epps and did his character stay with you when you finished filming?
I’ve come across unpredictable characters before but nobody as terrifying as Epps. There’s always a residue and an effect caused by the character I am playing, but over the years I’ve developed a way to slip in and out of it. Also, because we were putting so much into the day’s work and moving so quickly, it allowed me to go home feeling I’d left everything behind.
Did you know much about slavery in America when you were offered the role?
I grew up in the Irish education system which is one of the best in the world and history was always a very important subject, so I had a pretty broad understanding of it.
Who was your biggest influence when you became an actor?
My mum was a very big influence in terms of the films that I watched and the actors that really inspired me. She was particularly a fan of 1970s American film.
Do you manage to get back to Ireland very often?
As much as I can, but my parents are retired now so they come and visit with me wherever I am filming.
Where do you call home?
London. I have a little apartment there where I lay my head, but I haven’t been back much in the past year.
You’re one of the film world’s most eligible bachelors. Where do you stand on the subject of marriage?
I don’t know where I stand on it. Doing this job, it’s very difficult for me to even maintain a relationship, let alone a marriage. I have a very selfish approach to the way I work meaning that I could be shooting until 4 a.m. and obviously that’s not fair to somebody if you’re in a relationship.
How do you cope with fame?
It is fun, but it can be dangerous, seductive and distracting. I like to keep myself fairly private so that audiences can disappear into the role I’m playing as opposed to them knowing too much about Michael Fassbender and what he does.
Have you made any New Year resolutions?
To not talk as much and to listen more. Also, to read more books because most of my reading tends to be scripts. I’ll start a book, then scripts will arrive and I’ll put the book down and have to revisit it.
What do you do for relaxation?
I like speed. Not the drug, but the sensation. So I go karting whenever I can and I find it helps me meditate and zone out a little. I also like going on motorcycle trips because it’s easy to jump on a plane and pop up somewhere else in the world, but when you’re on a motorcycle you see everything as you’re passing through. I love music, as well. I like to sort of tinker around on the guitar and I’m trying to learn how to surf as well. It’s more floundering than surfing, but I find it quite cleansing to be in the water!
How do you enjoy acting?
Every day I wake up and I’m thankful because when I started out, my ultimate goal was to work with great filmmakers, great actors and tell great stories. And that’s what I feel I’m doing. I am so spoiled. I get to travel the world and I got to choose my profession.