Katie Leung

(L) Top by SANDRO. Skirt by LE KILT. (R) Top by NORSE PROJECTS.

Who do you know who has the ‘best’ voice – and qualify what your standards are for them being ‘best’
Sara Kestelman who I worked with recently in a production at Hampstead Theatre has a magnificent voice which resonated effortlessly in the space on stage, piercing through the soul without the need for volume/ shouting. She also happens to be an incredible actress.

What was the last habit that you took up and the last one that you’ve given up?
Taken up menthols. Given up coffee.

If the last three places you read about or watched became a travel itinerary, where would you go? 
Pyongyang, Los Angeles, San Sebastián.

Similarly to ‘writers block’, have you ever experienced or heard of actors suffering from a ‘performers block’?
Yes and especially in theatre when you’re given the time to explore the character. Sometimes I find myself resorting to clichés that are untruthful and have to start over.

Jacket & skirt by HOLLY FULTON.

Regardless of how accurate it is or was, which actor (or character) did/ do you relate the most?
Bob Harris from Lost in Translation.

What shouldn’t be looked at as a chore?
Your job.

What is your greatest fear or concern pertaining to creativity?
That it might be stifled by self doubt.

Are there any days in the past year composed of moments you can recall vividly? What made it so memorable?
Watching my 17 year old sister opening up her presents on Christmas Day. It was our first Christmas together.

Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.

Katie Leung can be seen in The Foreigner in cinemas worldwide this fall.

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Harriet Byczok
Hair: Tracie Cant
Makeup: Gia Mills

Millie Brady

(L) Top by PETER PILOTTO. (R) Top by WHISTLES. Skirt by PETER PILOTTO.

What book/ movie/ TV show do you think you’ve recommended more than any other?
Philomena, The Help and Big Little Lies probably are my most recent big 3 for recommendations.

What are you happy that happened while you were alive and at an age where you could/ can understand and remember?
Being taught to read is a personal memory that’s so important to me and one I remember vividly. On a wider scale, I’m happy to have been able to witness the outcry from women across the world for equal rights and see everyone come together for the Women’s Marches. It was unbelievably moving. The legalisation of same sex marriage across the world is something else I am so happy to have witnessed in my life. There’s still a way to go but it’s been amazing to watch the domino effect of positivity allowing love to be recognised – no matter what the gender combination.

What stands out as the best or worst day you’ve had in recent memory?
I actually had a best/ worst day recently when I’d had one too many job rejections. It momentarily crushes you. I was sat in the hairdressers crying with mirrors all around and everyone looking over staring. They were probably thinking I was having a breakdown about a bad hair cut. I was at such a low point. I think that’s the hardest part of being an actor. You never get used to rejection but when you get the call saying you’ve got the job, it makes it all worth it. Thankfully at the end of this day, I got the call which makes it all worth it saying I’d got a job.

(L) Top by PETER PILOTTO. (R) Top by WHISTLES. Skirt by PETER PILOTTO.

What is the last song you looked up after hearing it in a film or on TV?
September Song from Big Little Lies

Is there a particular piece of imperfect art that you admire more because of its flaws?
Lowry’s matchstick figures milling around in depictions of industrial Northern England. I love how childlike they are. They’re not big loud paintings, they show every day life from a perspective that doesn’t glamourise it. They’re painted in a simple style in basic neutral colours which then becomes something beautiful.

What job should be tip-worthy?
Teachers, doctors and rescue workers. The people that are unsung heroes and fighting to help the world. They should get all the tips!

Do you find that it is more challenging working with ‘name’ or ‘established’ directors (ex. Guy Ritchie on King Arthur: Legend of the Sword), where you’re coming to work with an expectation of them and their body of work?
In my small experience so far in the industry, I haven’t noticed a change or a challenge working with more established names. Perhaps I will but, so far, the people I’ve worked with have been passionate and easygoing. I think there’s a certain air of confidence that a person gets if they’ve been highly recognised for their work, or perhaps they’re just better at disguising their insecurities – I haven’t worked it out yet.

Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.

Millie Brady can be seen now in The Last Kingdom on Netflix (US) and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword in cinemas worldwide.

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Francesca Turner
Hair: Fabio Nogueira
Makeup: Adele Sanderson

Sophie Rundle

(L) Jumpsuit by TEMPERLEY. (R) Top by TOPSHOP.

Is there anything you’ve been happy or nonplussed to lose or miss out on?
I did one of those 1 week intensive driving courses and didn’t pass my test. In hindsight I think its a good thing, I was nowhere near ready. I shouldn’t be allowed in charge of a moving vehicle.

If you could commission any painter in sculptor in history for a project, who would you pick and what would you have them render?
I’d love to have my portrait done like those great oil paintings of formidable looking women that hang in National Trust properties. I’d like to be a dreamy John Singer Sargent or a kooky Modigliani.

What seemingly small gesture reveals a lot about a person?
How a person treats waiters, it says everything.

What are you surprised that you can still remember from your time playing a character?
I played a character with photographic memory about five years ago. I can still remember the chunk of text I was supposedly recalling. “Oberleutnent von Diederich, 7th January, reassignment…” etc etc. I was just out of drama school and terrified of getting it wrong so I drilled it over and over and over. Sadly, I’m not that well prepared anymore.

Blazer by TEMPERLEY. Jeans by BALLY.

What was the last choice you made that felt important at the time?
Whether or not to go to a very trendy, impressive party. I agonised about whether or not to go, in the end I don’t think anyone noticed I wasn’t there. I stayed in watching Grand Designs instead and had a lovely evening.

What is your least favorite aspect or element of being an actor?
I didn’t get into acting because I thought I was a suitable fashion model so I find the photo shoots and the desperate squeezing into expensive dresses a bit awkward. It’s also hard being away from your loved ones. Deep, gut wrenching home sickness is a killer.

Excluding the span of your life, which decade do you think you’ve watched the most films from?
I watch endless big shiny technicolour movies from the 1950s. Everyone is so beautiful and they’re likely to break into song at any moment which I find deeply pleasing. If I see the letters MGM on the cover, I’m in. No questions asked.

You’ve been a series regular on Peaky Blinders since 2013 – do you find it difficult taking hiatuses from a character? Do you have a routine or practice for getting back into the context of the show’s world?
I work quite visually so I have endless mood boards for every character. If I’m returning to something, I scroll through those and it all comes flooding back. Then I’ll start adding more, often things I’d been subconsciously storing up since the last time I was filming. My mood boards for Ada have been added to and tweaked for five years now, both Ada and I have been through a lot so it’s interesting to look back over them and see the changes.

Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.

Sophie Rundle can be seen now in Jamestown on Sky 1 (UK).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Francesca Turner
Hair: Fabio Nogueira
Makeup: Adele Sanderson

Poppy Corby-Tuech

Top by BALLY.

What’s your favorite film character entrance or introduction of all time?
The goat is gone, the glass of water is shaking, the kids are panicking, Jeff Goldblum is being Jeff Goldblum and the idiotic lawyer p**s off to the bathroom (“When you gotta go you gotta go”), only to be devoured moments later – trousers around his ankles – by the glorious T-Rex. What an entrance. In fact, that toilet scene in Jurassic Park inspired me to write a song when I was ten called Man on the Bog; a tragic retelling of this story as seen from the T-Rex’s eyes. I’m sure a cassette recording exists somewhere amongst Bungay Middle School’s music department although I’d dread to hear how it’s stood the test of time.

If you had to ask advice from someone you didn’t know, whom would you pick?
Lemmy.

What’s the first story (true or fictitious, written or performed or told) that you remember being entranced by?
I watched the 1975 film Picnic At Hanging Rock when I was about 12 years old. It had such a profound effect on me, it spooked me and engrossed me equally. It was the ambiguity of it all paired with that brilliantly ominous soundtrack.

What scene from a TV show or movie always makes you hungry?
TV doesn’t make me hungry but it does make me thirsty. Coffee, whisky and cocktails have had their fair share of cinematic moments. It’s usually black coffee drunk by frazzled detectives who are having a breakthrough on a murder case at 3am all alone in their run down office or whisky in beautiful tumblers sipped by baddies as they broker some kind of dodgy deal in a dimly lit yet tasteful art deco room or Tom Cruise reciting barman poetry in Cocktail… that does it for me.

(R) Top and trousers by KEJI DENIM.

If aliens exist and visit the Earth, which film should we screen for them?
I’d invite them to watch the entire Planet Earth boxset to show them the best of what we’ve got. And then I’d ask them if I could join then on a ride in their spaceship.

One of your newest projects, Harlots, is set in an 18th century brothel – has the role altered or augmented the way you perceive ‘the worlds oldest profession’?
Absolutely. It’s given me a whole load of context, context that really resonates when our current society owes this particular time and profession so much. I think our show portrays sex work in a very human way despite the fact that the industry was/ is so often inhumane and completely ignored. What’s been so interesting to me is really how little has changed since 1763. True, our hair was higher and our skirts were wider then but the politics are almost the same. There’s a huge amount of empathy to be had from Harlots; historically, fictionally, past and present.

What should everyone try?
Retaining eye contact with actual people, not phones, when walking along the pavement.

What is the ideal way to start and end a day?
Thinking about what kind of breakfast you’re going to eat. Ideally I also like to end the day by thinking about what kind of breakfast I’m going to eat the next day.

Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.

Poppy Corby-Tuech can be seen now in Harlots on Hulu (US) and ITV Encore (UK).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Francesca Turner
Hair: Fabio Nogueira
Makeup: Adele Sanderson

Anna Brewster

Shirt by HOLLY FULTON.

Do you still consider a particular place ‘home’?
To be honest no, I travel so much so it’s rare for me to be in one place for more than a couple of weeks. I split my time between London and Paris and I love both cities for different reasons, but I find it hard to stay in one place for too long. I think the place I feel most at home is with my family, that’s where you can truly relax and feel safe and I guess that’s the definition of ‘home’.

If you could send a 2 x 2 package to your past self, circa 2007 but it couldn’t include any specific warnings, instructions, investment opportunities etc, what would the package contain?.
I would probably send myself a couple of round the world tickets for a time when I now know I wasn’t working, and force myself to take a year off and enjoy the world.

Is there anything you once regretted but now feel thankful for?
Oh god so so many things. It’s that old saying if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger, and I think it’s true. I have regrets about work, about loves and mistakes, but they all got me to where I am today so I suppose I should be thankful for all of them.

If you had to take a one-year hiatus from working professionally, but you would be financially secure, where would you go and what would you do with your time?
I’d travel the world on boats, planes and trains. I have been lucky and travelled a lot with work but you never get to see much, so although I’ve been to a lot of places I wouldn’t say I’ve really experienced them. I just got back from Mexico City which is an amazing vibrant place so I would start there, then head down to South America. I’d also like to take the Orient Express, The Flying Scotsman. And I have always wanted to go to Tokyo. The list is endless…

(L) Dress by TATA-NAKA. (R) Top & skirt by SANDRO.

What is the ideal view from a bedroom or living room window?
I love waking up next to water, especially a lake because it’s so calm. I went to Lake Cuomo recently for work and it was everything I had hoped – this serene beautiful place, and the light is incredible. I also once did a shoot and we stayed by a lagoon in Vietnam in one of the houses on stilts in the water, I woke up early because of jet lag and watched the sunrise and it was the most beautiful moment. I will never forget it – I love a good sunrise/ sunset.

Is there a particular positive experience or memory where you wish you had a photograph for posterity’s sake?
Nothing ever looks as good in photographs. There are so many memories. The thing is nowadays it’s so easy to take pictures and we document everything. But they just provide triggers for the real memories.

What is one of your favourite collaborations?
A friend of mine passed away last year, he was a photographer and I used to love working with him. He was so fun and made you totally relaxed and the pictures always reflected that. We kind of ‘grew up together’ professionally. I remember bumping into him at JFK. We sat in the Virgin Lounge getting massages and drinking champagne, we were quite proud of ourselves for where we had got to from when we had first met. Back then, he was on the door of a club and I was 19 and starting uni. He was a victim of mental health problems and I think it’s something we all need to talk about more as it’s a silent killer. It’s such a shame to lose such an amazing talent and friend like him.

What critic, publication or site (if any) do you frequent to keep up to date or learn more about film/ TV/ theatre?
I don’t really, I seem to have a lot of vocal people on my Facebook who always recommend films, TV shows etc so I just steal their suggestions.

Want more? Watch our behind-the-scenes film.

Anna Brewster can be seen in the second season of Versailles from April 21 on BBC2 (UK).

As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Harriet Byczok
Hair: Tracie Cant
Makeup: Gia Mills