She got famous on Trainspotting and starred in Gosford Park, Boardwalk Empire and even as a Disney Princess. Why did the Scottish actress panic about her new role on Line Of Duty?
Kelly Macdonald’s roles are usually calm, full of internal conflict and travel that is reflective rather than active as a grieving mother in The Child In Time, the wife of a gangster in Boardwalk Empire, and the title role in The Girl In The Cafe is 45 -Year-olds over the past 25 years have become known for the kind of thoughtful performances characterized by the image of a woman staring out of a window. All this makes our encounter today doubly surprising; that Macdonald, performing from their Glasgow home via Zoom, is here to talk about Line Of Duty, possibly the least reflective television show ever made, and that it’s an absolute hoot
Her role on Line Of Duty has grown into a coveted one on British television over the course of the series’ six seasons that of the guest star, who was brought up as a poor cop to be investigated by AC-12, the series’ now iconic anti-corruption unit (Past incumbents in the role, how bent it is, include Keeley Hawes and Thandie Newton) The twists and turns of Line Of Duty are legendary and the embargoes are fierce After the fifth season roller coaster ride? in which we briefly dealt with the possibility that Supt Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) himself was bent – ???? We meet Macdonald in season six as DCI Jo Davidson and we get stuck on one case, and that’s pretty much all the BBC will allow any of us, before it airs, to reveal what makes Macdonald crack every time they’re at it thinks It’s weird that they sent me a list of things I shouldn’t talk about when I can’t remember anythingâ ????
This is partly due to the mess the day before the interview, Macdonald showed up an hour earlier for the Guardian photoshoot on the shores of Loch Lomond.She Forgets Words, Dates, Times She has been known to rock auditions after doing the script has not fully studied “I’m terrible” she says cheerfully in a chunky knit sweater that she says is a notch from her usual lockdown hoodie I’m just rubbish reading the email being ???? At home she’ll look up from everything she does and catch her sons Theodore (eight) and especially Freddie (twelve) looking at her in disbelief. My son is over there on his iPad and I’m on the phone and I just see him looking at me I still remember [at his age] thinking my mother was a fool, such a fool about technologyâ ????
It’s there in their appearances, that innocent good humor Macdonald once described the act as “no brain surgery” on???? Not a view that most actors share at their level? a delight in the absurdity of everything that has been on screen since her first explosive role as Diane in Trainspotting that was released in 1996 when Macdonald turned 20 and, it turns out, Diane – brazen, impulsive, outrageous â ???? was atypical of the work that would follow the women she plays are usually strong but not loud simmer with ambition â ???? like in Boardwalk Empire, in which her character Margaret crawls out of the shadow of her mob boss husband (played by Steve Buscemi) to eventually lead her own show; or Mary, Maggie Smith’s smart girl in Robert Altman’s 2001 film Gosford Park. In recent years, Macdonald has starred in shows like Black Mirror (Hated In The Nation) alongside John Hannah in the TV series The Victim and as Sarah, a loner, in Giri / Haji, the Anglo-Japanese thriller, on Most Impressively, she played Julie in The Child in Time, the 2017 film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, as the couple whose child is kidnapped in most of these projects, Macdonald is still the center of attention der Aktion, a performer whose strength lies in her ability to communicate volume with minimal movement
Line Of Duty is a whole different beast, although it follows Macdonald’s tendency to be late for things “I mean, I still haven’t seen the Sopranos” a ???? She had no idea about the show when she signed up for the role, of course she knew it was popular, and when the call came on a train from London to Glasgow she was excited to have won the job (she wanted to scream but was alone and couldn’t ????) The cheering quickly subsided after you broadcast the first episode while I was on the train. And I managed to download it and was immediately freaked out by the intensityâ ????
I love Line Of Duty I love the fact that it’s all about business with no time for the coppers personal life I love the jargon In any exchange, it is perfectly acceptable for one character to turn to another and say: “37, 45, status six” Get the answer “10, 37, active message” and top it off with a spectrographic analysis that gives a 995% probability of accuracy I love DC Arnott’s weird idiom and Kate Fleming’s knitwear, and I love Hastings ???? Flawed Heroism I’ve loved every corrupt guest star for five seasons
Macdonald was not primarily inclined to fall in love; She was too busy wondering how she was going to learn all this stuff “It was just a very dense script, a lot of dialogue” I had never had so much dialogue about any job. The jobs I did were emotional Dialogues and that was something else it’s information.My first thought was that this was going to be really challenging and that’s probably a good thing, but I had to think about it. I know a person who was offered a role in a certain season and who is because of the mental got rejected The sheer amount of detail? Yes one ???? To inspire himself, Macdonald went back to the beginning and watched the show to freak out even more.She gave up on season four because it was nearing the start of filming and I really panicked, and Thandie was like that Good! Â ????
Macdonald has always had a nerve.It’s a mystery to her how an actor couldn’t.She characterizes herself as a quiet person who, in the early days of a shoot, simply finds being in a room with strangers nobody in her family worked in the arts. She was born in Glasgow before her parents moved to Aberdeen After the divorce, she was raised by her mother, who worked in sales, and it was by chance that she got cast in Trainspotting: she picked up a flyer promoting an open audition and popped up on a whim that she had played youth theater as well remembers very vividly watching the movie The Delinquents at the cinema in 1989. “And Kylie Minogue was there and all I could think was,” I could do this, I could do this! “But that was the extent of their experience
Looking back, Macdonald says, the Trainspotting shoot seems like it was in prehistoric times not least because they were drunk most of the time; She can’t imagine a movie set being so loud these days I thought it was okay because everyone else [drank] It was like high school, you just try to adaptâ ????
Wait, where did you drink? We were just hanging out in the pub The green room was a little trailer we were all supposed to sit in And the sensible people would sit and the others would go to the local pub ???? When she was filming the famous club scene where her character first met Ewan McGregors, Macdonald had been drinking all day. By the time I did the talkative piece, I was already hungover ???? She is proud of the film and has a poster of it on the wall, but apparently reflexively says, “I haven’t seen it since it premiered, so I have no idea”I’m sure I’m pretty bad at it”
Macdonald was lucky with directors Danny Boyle was sensitive to her inexperience and she’s never had a really terrible time on set Oh god I’ve been so lucky Much of it is in the right place at the right time I’m pretty good at it, isn’t it to work to work, although it would have benefited me for tax purposes at times.But when my instinct says it’s not for me, then so will I. Because the few jobs I’ve done that I wasn’t really right for , and I had this feeling, I was generally rightâ ????
There were lean years, or as she puts it: I had a long time off and thought of all sorts of other careers and pulled out puzzles ???? At the beginning of her career, the work was so “super sporadic” she says that I had to go home and when I got together with my ex he sometimes had to help me a ???? (Her ex-husband is Dougie Payne, the bassist for Scottish band Travis The couple were married for 14 years through 2017 and share custody of their two boys) Not long after Trainspotting came out and became a huge hit, Macdonald got an audition for The Matrix, the 1999 blockbuster starring Keanu Reeves, invited her to rock after barely glancing at the script, which still makes her laugh “I was just an idiot, there is no one else” I probably tried a few pages and thought, “What?” I do not understand: I will only give it wingsâ ???? â ????
“No, stupidity is just stupidity” The nerves don’t affect it ???? She laughs. But I wasn’t right for it anyway. I was too young Noâ ????
In 2012 Macdonald appeared in the Joe Wright-directed film version of Anna Karenina alongside Keira Knightley â ???? she interrupts me when I mention this to tell me excitedly that Vicky McClure, who plays DI Fleming on Line Of Duty, was also in the film, although “she thinks she might have been cut out, I didn’t” I know anyway not, none of us saw it In a recent interview, Knightley expressed doubts that she would ever film a sex scene with a male director again, Macdonald says she doesn’t fully identify with it, not for lack of sympathy or because her experience shooting sex scenes was particularly good but maybe for reasons of expectation I’ve worked with very few female directors There was a female director on Line Of Duty which was very nice But I think I’m beyond sex scenes at this point I only play detectives now My experiences have been, I mean, her are horrible, they are uncomfortable, but you just keep going You think I have to be here and then it’s overâ ????
But have you ever had to assert yourself and defend yourself against something worse or more abusive than the discomfort of being naked in front of strangers? No, I may be unusual in that the people I’ve worked with have thought about it beforehand and are just thinking about it, so it’s as convenient as it can get Hopefully there aren’t too many people in the room you don’t want it getting too busy a ???? Trainspotting, oddly enough, was probably the biggest sex scene she’s filmed, “Ewan had done a lot of sex scenes before and he was so cute to me and talked through me and made me feel as comfortable as I could be,” she says I know it now it’s about having people [intimacy trainers] with you and talking to you about it I’ve never done it It’s always been like this, make it up to you and hope it’s not too embarrassingâ ????
She didn’t audition for Boardwalk Empire.She got a call from Martin Scorsese, who directed early episodes and who she believes worked under the misunderstanding that she was Irish like her character Margaret It got to the point, Macdonald says that after winning the role she called her agent in a panic I thought I need to let her know I need to work on the accent! Because I’m actually not Irish! ????? ???? Her agent advised her not to sweat. By then it was too late, they occupied meâ ????
It’s a time of her life that she looks back on with fondness during the seasonal filming, the family lived in New York for several years, which they loved, although she says dryly, “I wish I had started my New York years ago”I had children. I spent most of the evenings at home,” Your older son Freddie started preschool in town He is very proud of this fact and is holding it over his younger brother’s head and would get very angry if his mother slipped into British terminology (“He” stood there yelling, “Is it a buggy or is it a stroller ?!” I thought, “Fair enough”? There were two words for everythingâ ????) The main appeal of New York, she says, is how friendly it was compared to London, where they lived when Freddie was a baby. I made good friends in New York, people from all walks of life who Were not in my line of business I spent most of my time in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village When I wasn’t working I was there from morning to night, how it felt and I would meet people and chat and in the end stay in touch and be friends with themâ ????
In contrast, she says in London, “I’ve been to the park every day too, and I’ve met people and had a really nice chat, and it would be great”And then I would see her the next day and it would be like we never met I would say hello and they would look at me like I was a pedophile or something ???? She screams with laughter and puts a classy English Accent: “Don’t try to be friends with me!”
Boardwalk Empire, which spanned five seasons, was a hit Macdonald was twice nominated for a Golden Globe and won a coveted role in the off-season to star in the Disney animated film Brave (she played Merida, the spirited, red-haired Daughter of a Scottish King and Queen voiced by Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson) It reminded them of being on Line Of Duty, oddly enough ???? the feeling of a big ticket role in a legendary franchise â € œThe guest lead thing â ???? oooh When I was doing press for [Brave] I said, “I’m a Disney princess” whoa what? ???? This is how it is to be a guest in Line Of Dutyâ ????
The tricky thing about Jed Mercurio’s show is that Macdonald had no idea how good or bad the woman was, since the scripts were played only a few episodes before the filming for the actors could be played, Jed had described my character as enigmatic, so i stuck to it ???? Like an actor in a medical drama, she also had no idea what she was talking about most of the time. We read through and it was pretty hard I think we read three episodes and in the end I was just a shell of a woman ??? ? So, she says, “When my publicist sent me a list of things I couldn’t and couldn’t talk about” To be honest, it’s the kind of detailed forensic policing that, even when I say the words, I just do half know what I actually mean one ???? She bursts out laughing
It was a fun shoot, she says, even though BBC Catering is not in the same league as the HBO buffet table On Line Of Duty you get a wet sandwich American productions have a dinner table set all day ???? I can’t help it, the crazy fan in me blurts out: What’s Vicky McClure like? â € œYou ???? is lovely! You know, she is that girl from school who is super energetic, popular and has time for everyone. She has a big heart: She is greatâ ????
Like all other production films in 2020, the initial bans interrupted you for several months, Macdonald says she found that time easier than subsequent bans? At least it was a novelty. Now she’s going through revolutions of thinking that the locks will never end. She’s done a lot of television. In fact, she says, “All I do is binge”I saw Bridgerton, I did Call My Agent, the French show that is brilliant and dry – it saw Michaela Coel’s acclaimed I May Destroy You, which to widespread dismay overlooked the Golden Globe nominations,” It is shocking that she was not recognized “says Macdonald. But they are all idiots Incredibleâ ????
More projects are in the pipeline, including a role in John Madden’s upcoming adaptation of Ben Macintyre’s WWII spy blockbuster Operation Mincemeat America’s west coast showed up and I can’t get them done, especially if I share custody.I was working in Australia a few years ago and that was hard.They came out for a couple of weeks but it was longer than I thought I couldn’t do it againâ ????
She, she says, will almost certainly transform into her mother, whose stupidity makes her roar with laughter. Macdonald was at the bank the other day and forgot the word for “testimony” (â € žI said you knew what youâ € ™ re sending on paper? And I made her forget the word statement and I thought she was silent because she was judging me and then she finally blurted out And it appears semi-regularly at the wrong time
Freddie, she says, looks at her like she’s crazy. In the meantime, she can seldom chat with her own mother without getting hysterical. On the phone the other day, she says, her mother was trying to come up with an actress’s name remember and came on ? on???? Macdonald starts laughing Blender Brethrone She said, “It had something in it, you know”and finally that thing became Blender Brethrone And I thought,” Mom, you know, don’t you? “she shakes, shoulders rise? â ???? â ???? that Blender is not a name? â ?? ?? â ????
The perk of getting older, Macdonald says, is that after years of feeling more or less scared in every movie and TV, over the past decade she has easily started to relax, up to the Boardwalk Empire and above In addition, she had something to do which was to cling very tightly to the bag or prop she was holding in a scene to the extent that no one could stop her “We cut to change camera position, costume would come to take the bag and I would say, “No, no, no”; I want to hold it that way, all the way through Like a freakâ ????
Macdonald finds the adrenaline useful But what about the pandemic and all? She recently learned to relax. The day before, she saw someone with a tattoo that read, “What’s for you?” I’ve had a lot of disappointments, like everyone else, and I have my little flaws when I don’t get the part I want But I kind of believe in this line ???? For those who are healthy and active, it’s the hard-won lesson of the year, “I can’t be too disappointed with anything”â ????
Line Of Duty begins Sunday the 21st March at 9 p.m. on BBC One and BBC iPlayer
Line of Duty
World News – GB – Kelly Macdonald: “I am now beyond sex scenes”I only play detectives