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You may know Vanessa from her TV projects like «The Frankenstein Chronicles» or «The Hour»; her movie projects «About Time» or «Kill Command»; or her most acclaimed project «The Crown». Follow our site for her latest news and we will assure you will never miss anything about Vanessa´s career!

Such a great interview from Metro UK! Hopefully one of you got a copy, ’cause this is definetly a keeper :p

I don’t think I can do it.’ Vanessa Kirby is having a meltdown. ‘I’m rubbish. Everyone hates me. They should recast.’

Then her eyes dance and the terror fades from her face. ‘That was at the end of last week,’ she says. ‘I do it every time – that neurotic actress thing. It’s part of the process.’

Kirby – who came to household attention in the BBC’s The Hour and Great Expectations in 2011 – was once told by an LA casting director that ‘the industry thrives on fear’. It’s a tenet she’s taken to heart; yet her career to date suggests every reason for optimism.

Aged just 25, after a mere four years in the business, she’s already played opposite Ray Winstone, Harriet Walter and John Hurt.

Her willowy form has graced the stages of the Royal Court (in Anya Reiss’s The Acid Test, when one critic hailed her as ‘a star if ever I saw one’); the Young Vic (swigging champagne and singing Bowie as Masha in Benedict Andrews’s controversial reworking of Chekhov’s Three Sisters); and the National Theatre (where she was sucked into a vortex of lust, violence and corruption in Marianne Elliott’s production of Women Beware Women). She’s in Richard Curtis’s new romcom, About Time, and starts work imminently on Queen And Country, John Boorman’s sequel to 1987’s Hope And Glory, as well as another movie project with Keira Knightley.

Right now, though, she’s back at the National and what’s been giving her sleepless nights is Edward II, Christopher Marlowe’s lurid Renaissance drama, most famous for its depiction of the titular English monarch’s death by red-hot poker up the rectum.

Rarely performed, it’s a sprawling, slavering, extravagant beast of a play. Kirby, who plays Isabella, the spurned queen whose feckless royal husband has a homosexual affair with his favourite, Gaveston, admits she was ‘a bit baffled to begin with’.

She’s been reading hefty biographies; and the director, Joe Hill-Gibbins, has had his cast perform improvisations exploring their characters’ backstories.

Kirby describes how John Heffernan and Kyle Soller, as Edward and Piers Gaveston, spent an afternoon feeding one another cheese and onion crisps, with smelly results; and how her Isabella, struggling to raise Edward’s interest, did a striptease to Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On.

The production that has emerged, she says, is self-consciously theatrical, and a knowing mix of medieval and modern. ‘Joe didn’t want it to be earnest,’ says Kirby. ‘It’s very much a play about performing your role. What is the monarchy, what does it mean? What is it about Wills and Kate that everyone loves? We also looked at the 1953 coronation and how absurd all the ceremonial of it was. There are hints of the medieval period – there are gorgeous dresses, John wears beautiful robes, the knights are in armour but we also have phones. It’s exciting and immediate.’

As Queen of England and daughter of a French king, Isabella enjoyed enormous wealth and power, and indulged in legendary spending sprees. Kirby cites Paris Hilton and Nigella Lawson as 21st-century influences on her interpretation, with Isabella’s public humiliation echoed in the gossip of today’s celebrity rags.

Kirby herself has been the subject of some scurrilous media speculation. Great Expectations saw the tabloids dub her a member of the Corset Crew – a coterie of pretty young Brit actors who made their names in breeches and bonnets – and she’s been romantically linked with her co-star, Douglas Booth.

But the ‘period-drama pin-up’ tag isn’t just silly, it’s also inaccurate. Kirby’s work has already been of greater breadth than the label implies.

A beguiling mix of breathless excitement and polished poise, one moment she’s awestruck at a Hollywood meeting with the Wachowskis, the next bantering at a premiere with Bill Nighy. She’s on first-name terms with fashion designer Matthew Williamson but dissolves into giggles as she recounts how her chicken fillet flew out of the cleavage of a designer gown mid-photo shoot. The glitz that comes with recognition is ‘all a load of nonsense, really’, she insists. ‘Acting is a very weird job. But if you know you’re an actor, you just have to do it. You can’t do anything else.’

Edward II opens next Wednesday and runs until Oct 26, National Theatre.


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