November 14, 2016  •  Comments Off on Acting Royally: Lucy Cleland interviews James Norton and Vanessa Kirby Articles, Interviews, Modeling

It’s a bright, sunny day, three days prior to 23 June, when the fate of the UK’s membership of the European Union was sealed.
I’m driving through Hampshire and it’s the typically bucolic England of the guide books, hedgerows bursting with cow parsley, lush valleys, Friesians grazing in fields… The view is only marred by bulky red placards trussed up in trees, tied to fences or plastered in the windows of pretty cottages – this is, in case you doubted it, Leave territory.

Ironic then that I’m to meet two of Britain’s brightest young stars, who I’m sure – without a shadow of a doubt – will be putting their tick by Remain on Thursday. James Norton – all chiselled cheekbones and twinkly-eyed – best-known for playing the psychopath Tommy Lee Royce in ITV’s thrillingly dark drama Happy Valley and Prince Andrei Bolkonsky in the BBC’s lavish production of Dostoyevsky’s War and Peace, and the effervescently and intensely gorgeous Vanessa Kirby, who, this year, has starred as Elena in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya at the Almeida and made her Broadway debut as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, opposite Gillian Anderson, are shooting a campaign for the very British brand Smythson.

Which means the PM’s [now former PM, natch] wife Samantha Cameron, who is creative consultant for the brand, will be there. I wonder if I’ll catch her smoking a cheeky fag (though, since the referendum result, maybe she’s up to 20 a day).
This is the second part of the Smythson campaign that Vanessa and James are shooting. The first, for spring/summer, was based on the theme of ‘town’, this one’s based on ‘country’ (C&TH’s perfect story, obviously) and it’s taking place at Glebe House (for rent by the way, should you want a Georgian pad with pool, tennis court, landscaped gardens etc), where I’m allowed to hang out, soaking it all in, before I get a few minutes to chat to the actors between takes. Everyone seems relaxed and happy (though I haven’t spotted Mrs C yet). ‘These two are just a joy to work with,’ says one crew member. ‘They’re hilarious,’ says another. And as they come out of the front door, modelling the new Smythson luggage range, they do what they’re told without fuss or fanfare, though perhaps a little toasty in their winter garb.

Read the full interview/article in our press library.

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