You’ll be appearing soon as Svetlana Stalin – Joseph Stalin’s only daughter – in Armando Ianucci’s The Death of Stalin. This will be one of Ianucci’s first projects not only using a real contextual setting but also ‘real’ historical figures. What can you share about the way this project (and you through your character) approached the balance of reality and creative license?
I watched the moving images of Svetlana available, read one book in particular, Rosemary Sullivan’s Stalin’s Daughter, which was comprehensive. And used all the stills of her available. Then made an effort to forget it all and embrace the contemporary language and rhythm of Armando’s script.
In retrospect, what is the riskiest thing you’ve ever done?
Falling in love.
What is next for you?
Nocturnal Animals, Mindhorn, Shepherds and Butchers, Battle of the Sexes, The Witness for the Prosecution and Burden
What is your favorite subject to discuss?
Music. Literature. Politics.
At what age do you think you would have been the hardest to parent or discipline?
This year you appeared in Netflix’s fantastic series Bloodline, as the cunning and manipulative Evangeline. Conniving, scheming characters are oftentimes the most intriguing to watch, as you are watching a performance (for the other characters) within a performance (for the audience). Who are some of your favorite cinematic schemers of all time, and how did that augment or alter your approach to playing Evangeline?
Olivier’s Richard III
Kim Jong II – Team America World Police
Dr. Strangelove – Dr. Strangelove
Mutley – Wacky Races
All the greats.
What smell reminds you the most of a certain time or place?
The smell of oranges. Reminds me of riding the now dated Horizons ride in Epcot with my dad in kidhood.
What is the coolest possession you’ve ever found?
A child’s scrapbook from the ’30s in Ripping Yarns second hand book shop in Highgate. Under the ‘oddities’ section were Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde.
What is the most unconventional food or drink combination/concoction that you love?
Probably not hugely unconventional but Maltesers on salted cinema popcorn.
Which is more important to you, your daily routine leading up to going to sleep, or after waking up?
Don’t know. I wake up and eat chocolate first thing cause life’s short and it keeps me regular 😉 I listen to an album and read myself to sleep. I value’em both!
Andrea Riseborough can be seen in Witness for the Prosecution on BBC One (UK) on 26 & 27 December 2016.
As told to Paul Vaughan for TPJ
Creative Director & Photographer: Jessie Craig
Stylist: Francesca Turner
Hair: Bjorn Krischker
Makeup: Charlotte Hayward
Special thanks to the ME Hotel, London