November 26, 2020  •  Leave a Reply Articles, Interviews, Magazines, Photoshoots

The British actress is on an unstoppable ascent that could (and should) result in awards glory. Esquire editor-in-chief Alex Bilmes sat down with Kirby to discuss The Crown and her astonishing new film, Pieces of a Woman.

What a moment to have a moment, what a year for it to be your year. Were the world operating under pre-pandemic conditions then Vanessa Kirby, the actress best known for playing Princess Margaret in the first two series of Netflix’s The Crown, would be on lap two, or lap three, or who knows how many laps of an international victory tour, ears ringing from the applause, eyes smarting from the camera flashes, head spinning from the intoxicating cocktail of jet lag and Champagne and acclaim. Instead, Kirby’s time is… now? In the middle of… this?

So rather than trotting the globe she’s mostly been at home, like the rest of us, in her case in south London, with her sister and their two housemates, watching old films, cooking big suppers, worrying about the state of the world and her profession, adjusting to the fact that Wednesdays are suddenly the same as Sundays, missing work but feeling grateful for the fact that unlike many in the creative industries she has the security that comes with high-profile gigs on TV and in the movies: “My friends are stage managers and they’re working in Tesco, you know?”

Of her own lockdown experience, she says, “I slept loads, which I haven’t done properly for years. We developed a routine. That’s something I’ve never had in my life, that kind of structure.”

Any revelations? “It’s soothing, isn’t it? I think it’s what human beings actually need.”

There was, happily, one significant professional outing, at the beginning of September, when Kirby attended the Venice Film Festival — one of the few physical cultural events of 2020 not to have been cancelled or postponed — at which she had two films in competition. She says now that it was all a blur, and modestly attempts to shift focus anywhere but onto herself, but the fact is that she set Venice ablaze and came home triumphant, with the Volpi Cup for Best Actress in her hand luggage.

It was awarded for her performance in Pieces of a Woman, a searing drama of trauma, grief and family dysfunction, in which she plays the lead role — her first, on screen — of Martha, a young woman in contemporary Boston whose world collapses when she suffers a stillbirth. It didn’t end there: Kirby was also celebrated for her turn in The World to Come, a starkly beautiful film also set in Massachusetts, though this time in a 19th-century farming community. Again, it’s a film about love and death and loss and how we react to it and try to reconstruct our lives.

Read the full article/interview in our press library.

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