Emily Mortimer says the pandemic has taught her ‘not to take things for granted’ as she reflects on missing family in the UK ahead of her directing debut
Emily Mortimer has said that the coronavirus pandemic has taught her ‘not to take things for granted’.
The British star, 49, who lives in Brooklyn, reflected on how restrictions have meant she’s not been able to travel to family in the UK in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar.
Speaking ahead of her directorial debut, Emily also discussed finding her ‘authority’ and admitted that it was ‘cool’ to suddenly be ‘powerful and in charge’ in her 40s.
Time for thinking: Emily Mortimer has said that the coronavirus pandemic has taught her ‘not to take things for granted’ (pictured on set for her directing debut, an adaption of Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit Of Love)
Chatting about what she’s learnt during the pandemic, US-based Emily said that she relies on being able to travel to see family.
Emily said: ‘My whole life depends on travelling, and the only reason it’s OK living here [Brooklyn] is because it’s so easy to get back home and see my mum and my sister and my nephews and the people I love and miss.
‘Covid-19 has made it apparent that this isn’t something you can or should take for granted.’
The Newsroom star also revealed that she’s got reminders of the UK in her New York home to help when she’s missing her family.
Directing debut: The British star, 49, has been working on a BBC adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love (pictured in January 2020)
She told the publication: ‘I’ve got loads of Royal Family commemorative plates, and the children have Union Jack lampshades.’
Emily, who has been working on a BBC adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love, also chatted about the differences between acting and directing.
She said: ‘As an actor, you are infantilised and told what to do all the time. You’re literally given pocket money, woken up by somebody, picked up here and taken there and you’re powerless. I am very good at that.
‘But suddenly to be in charge of this whole system…! I have a very awkward relationship with authority – I have none, basically. I don’t like to upset anybody, and I find any confrontational conversation really stressful.’
However, Emily said that directing The Pursuit of Love was enjoyable and she liked discovering and using her own authority.
She continued: ‘For the first time in my life, I found myself able to be quite direct. I do think it’s important to know that you can do it. It’s cool to be a woman of our age who’s suddenly powerful, in charge, and to feel that’s OK.
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‘And the amazing thing about directing is that there’s no time to think at all – unlike acting, when you have a lot of time both before and during the process to sit and think about how you’re going to humiliate yourself on an international level.
‘I felt weirdly happy doing it [directing]. Though it’s going to be horrendous when people judge it, because if it’s bad, it’s totally my fault.’
Emily also praised Nancy Mitford’s writing, saying that the author didn’t shy away from taboo or tricky subjects.
She gushed: ‘The way that Mitford writes is extremely bold. She’s brutal and funny, and searingly honest about difficult topics such as not liking your baby or being beaten by your father.
‘She deals with all these things with such a light touch. We’re living in a time when you feel nervous about saying anything, but this female voice is so unafraid.’
The May issue of Harper’s Bazaar is on sale from 07 April 2021.
The May issue of Harper’s Bazaar is on sale from 07 April 2021