Penelope Wilton talks about her TV, film and stage career, love in later life and the burden of child loss.
It’s not a story that I telling you how a girl chasing her idol.
Sherlock S2E1 A Scandal in Belgravia
Actor Penelope Wilton
Penlope Wilton talks to Saga
5 years ago,she was only 20,even not graduated from college,she watched a British TV series and fell for an actor.He’s charming handsome gorgeous gentlemen on the tv even in real life.She was crazy about him for a while like any of young girls they were doing,posters photos screen on her phone and computer.Talking about him to her parents friends students,watched all the TVs movies that he played.His zodiac,birthday,marriage and everything that she knew.
1) S: And my client is…?
It’s in the dying minutes of the interview that I get a sudden glimpse of the real Penelope Wilton behind the respected and celebrated actress.
She had time and she was free to do anything she wanted.But nothing can lasts forever,maybe the feelings goes down through the time,she forget about him slowly,perhaps crashed on anyone else that was normal it’s multiple world everything’s changing in every second.
Harry: Illustrious, in the extreme. And remaining, I have to inform you entirely anonymous.
Up until this point, five minutes into overtime, with the car waiting outside to take her home from the photoshoot and interview, Downton Abbey’s Isobel Crawley has been charming and polite and obliging, despite the fact that you sense that this whole process is not really her cup of tea.
5 years now,she’s more than 20,she have good job, new friends new boyfriend,new life.Growing up becoming a decent woman,she’s never recollected him anymore,even didn’t mentioned his name again.But one day,she watched a movie,he is the lead actor and his name on the middle of the big poster on the cinema.She can heard some girls were talking about him how he good looking is.After the movie she felt she crashed on him again that feeling was different from past 5 years,like she said: I think he’s the last idol（男神）in my life.I was confused,what’s the different? Same person same look the only thing changed is the age,his age and hers.
Q:What was your first reaction when you read the pilot and also what about the tenuous sobriety issue that may be part of the arc for your characters?
Ever the professional, she gamely enters into the spirit of it all however, trying on colours that she would never normally wear, eventually swaying to the music in the studio as the camera shutter clicks away. Afterwards she talks enthusiastically and fluently about her work.
I asked about her,why you so sure that isn’t the short delight like 5 years ago?She said:when I looked at him on the cinema again, I felt I lost him for long time,I lost his beauty,as an actor his acting skilks growing fast，he challenged himself in many roles. I like him more and notice more from inside not just looking.We not 17 anymore that guy maybe can improve you encourage you becoming a good person,this is the different.
2) S: You know I don’t concern myself with trivias. Who is she?
Jonny Lee Miller: That element was a huge attraction for me. I always feel that characters that have problems and issues to deal with are more fun to play, especially if you’re trying to balance that with a supposed genius for something and then make him not comfortable with that. You know, give him an edge. It leads into the relationship that Holmes and Watson have. That’s a plus all round for me to bring some darkness into it and have some problems, and it’s something a little more edgy that we don’t necessarily see too much on network television. So, I was very happy about that.
With an OBE and an honorary Doctor of Letters, both tributes to her acting skills, Penelope is undoubtedly at the top of her game at the moment.
Okay.... I need a prove.
M: Irene Adler. Professionally known as The Woman. There are many names for what she does. She prefers Dominatrix.
Liu: I do think there’s an element of mystery that’s involved in characters that are damaged and that CBS is taking a big risk for their network to allow that to happen and to have someone who had a history in drugs, or whatever addiction it was, and have a sober companion as well. I think there’s something dark and it allows you to go to different places. Watson is a character that’s hiding behind what she needs to really look into which is her past and why she was kicked out and the malpractice. She lost a lot of respect and her integrity. She’s actually more insecure than she leads on and he sees through that. She’s trying to help him but the reality is the clarity of helping him is just a distraction for her to not look at herself.
Stage, screen and sitcom
Until many days ago, I got a proving.
3) I: Hello, sorry to hear you’ve been hurt. I don’t think Kate caught your name.
Miller: I think audiences like to identify as well with people who are struggling with trying to be the best people that they can. If you’ve got someone who’s supposed to be a master detective, it’s much more interesting to watch them struggle with that sometimes.
A familiar face since Ever Decreasing Circles, the Eighties sitcom in which she played Ann, the long-suffering wife of Richard Briers’ obsessive Martin, she puts paid once and for all to the theory that older actresses struggle to find parts unless they’re Judi Dench or Maggie Smith, both of whom she works with and counts as friends.
She texted me suddenly:I’m on another city now for business trip,but I hear from weibo he’s going to here tomorrow!
S: I’m so sorry, I’m…
Liu: I think the idea of relapse is a great thing because it gives you the opportunity to fall, and people fall all the time and they want to see you get back up. That’s an important aspect of an actor to not just play it straight all the time. You have an opportunity to land on your ass and get back up.
Best known these days for Downton (which also stars Peter Egan who played her 'will they? won't they?' neighbour Paul in Ever Decreasing Circles), she is not only returning in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a sequel to the surprise hit film, which pulled in $135 million, but is also starring on the West End stage in Taken at Midnight, a powerful new play set in Thirties Nazi Germany, which garnered her glowing reviews on its run at Chichester Festival Theatre.
Me: I was so happy for you and couldn’t be any great!You two in the same city you can figure it out how to get into the show!
I: It’s always hard to remember alias when you’ve had a fright. Isn’t it?
Q:Sherlock Holmes is highly intelligent. Is that intimidating to play?
Theatre, television, film? She seems to have them all sewn up right now. ‘I’m astounded, myself,’ she laughs, and in typically modest fashion says: ‘It’s marvellous and I’m really delighted, but it’s happenstance: these things happen from time to time. I have to thank my agent.’
Her: I can find a way,my friend can help me so easily!
And there now, we both defrocked, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
Miller: Huh? Are you saying…? Thankfully I don’t have to write it which is good. I mean, I love the way Rob (Robert Doherty) writes and I have the utmost confidence in him. I love his scripts. So, yeah, in a way, it’s a really good feeling to have that behind you and to know that you’ve got these wonderful words to say. It’s a good feeling. It’s nice to pretend to be intelligent. Alright everyone!
I expect it’s the other way round (her performance in this compelling version of an unknown true story has been hailed as ‘superb’ and ‘magnificent’), but she’d be too unassuming to think that.
Me:Wow! How I juleas about you!Wish you luck!
S: Miss Adler, I presume.
I had the great opportunity to see you do both roles in Frankenstein. Can you talk about that experience and how you prepared for two such iconic yet different roles?
Taken at Midnight
Her:But I must get back tomorrow afternoon,my leader needs my data urgency I can’t afford the lost.And he knows I’ve done my duty what about me?Find another reason?Lying to him?I didn’t catch up the train?So stupid!
I: Look at those cheekbones. I could cut myself slapping that face. Would you like me to try?
Miller: It would take us all afternoon really so I can’t do that now. It was one of the best working professional experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I love the theater and the chance to do really [good work]. I guess the main thing about doing those two roles is that you inhabit the entire play. You see it from here and you see it from there. You get to really work in depth with another actor and share in stuff. You never get to share like that because for it to be a success, there can be no room for the ego, like “That’s my idea.” “I don’t like the way you’re doing that.” There’s no one-upmanship. In the end, we were exchanging ideas. We would borrow stuff from each other quite openly. You never get that in the acting experience with other actors. You can get on with people really well but you never like really share in stuff.
Penelope plays the mother of a celebrated young lawyer, Hans Litten, who in 1931 put Adolf Hitler on the witness stand, subjecting him to a searing cross-examination. As soon as Hitler came to power two years later, Litten was seized in retribution, and incarcerated in Sonnenberg concentration camp. ‘It’s the story of a mother’s struggle to save her son,’ she says. The play is about the high price of resisting tyranny.
Me:that is hard think about that clearly don’t do anything you regret!
Q:It was a beautiful production.
‘Her son disappeared, like thousands in Germany of the wrong political persuasion at the time. It was before the war and the big round-up of the Jewish population. She didn’t want him to be forgotten. It’s a wonderful play and I can’t believe my luck.’
She was quiet until the another day.
4) I: DO you know the big problem with a disguise, Mr. Holmes. However hard you try, it’s always a self-portrait.
It is, though, emotionally draining: ‘I don’t do much else when I’m doing this,’ she says. ‘But I’ve got over being depressed, that’s self-indulgent. I’m just telling the story, and delighted it’s out there. It’s about freedom of speech and reminds us that democracy is a fragile thing. We take it for granted – that’s what democracy is – but we do have to guard it. It’s a sacred thing, really. Very precious.
Next day evening I got her massage:gusee where I am now?
S: You think I’m a vicar with a bleeding face?
Has Benedict Cumberbatch spoken to you about playing Sherlock? [Cumberbatch plays Sherlock Holmes on the BBC version.]
Mothers of the 'disappeared'
Me:On the show?Meeting your 男神？
I: No. I think you’re damaged, delusional and believe in a higher power. In your case, It’s yourself.
Miller: Of course, I wanted to assure him that it was different enough and he was excited for me and he was very encouraging and we discussed it. We haven’t had a chance to get together a lot recently. It’s a wonderful character to play and he wanted to pass that on. We discussed that for a minute. Yeah. You know it’s a strange one.
‘It’s about mothers who will do anything, who fight for their children, and it speaks for mothers who are in Argentina, in Chile, in Bosnia and Egypt. Mothers of the disappeared. It’s happening now. Boko Haram have taken all those girls away in Africa, and it’s the women who always stand there on the front line, and they won’t let them be forgotten. It’s instinctive for mothers. We look after our children, they come first.’
Her:No i’m on the train.
Me:Wow why you give up the opportunity it’s rare.
5) S: Look at them. They all care so much. Do you ever wonder if there’s something wrong with us?
Penelope has a daughter, Alice, now 36, a theatre projects manager, from her first marriage to the late actor Daniel Massey. On cue her phone rings (a whistle ringtone), and it’s Alice. Penelope apologises as she takes the call quickly to tell her the coincidence of our location, Sunbeam Studios in West London. We are in the same vast-ceilinged space where Alice married a couple of years ago.
She:No,it looks like I missed him but on the other way,this is his job to come the show,his career.And I must go back for my own career either.we both have our responsibilities to live for.The best way to love your idol is never be followed him to anywhere.It is you be better person because of him or her.Something you must learn must change.When the time past you growing up,you can be more confident,unruffled,when one day you meet him at the right opportunity.To lose yourself sacrifice your everything isn’t available for someone even that’s your idol.I’m so sad most of people didn’t think that way.I can stay here one more night but after that did I really getting more than receive.He is the tree I’m still the grass,we both have rights live on the own way and position.He suppose to be the light guide you home,that’s what I thought.
M: All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage, Sherlock.
‘Do you remember Sunbeam cars?’ she asks when she hangs up. Sunbeam Rapier, I ask? ‘That’s the one. This building used to be the Sunbeam showroom before it was turned into studios. We hired it for the wedding. It was marvellous, we had a lovely time. So I have a lovely son-in-law called Elliott and a grandson Daniel who’s two and a half.’
I was so impressed about her change when I read those words,even it’s a simple story or thoughts.Just make sure you thinking more before do something,measure the values that you cost,don’t lose yourself for anywho.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
6) S: Please don’t feel obliged to tell me that was remarkable or amazing. John has expressed that in every possible variant available in English.
As a complete contrast to Taken at Midnight, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a romp and great fun. In the sequel to the story of a bunch of retirees who move to a hotel in India for a last chance at life, Penelope returns as Jean who, unlike the others, loathed the experience and exited her marriage to Douglas (Bill Nighy) and India in high dudgeon.
I: I would have you here, right on this desk until you beg for mercy twice.
Rather playing against type? Penelope has innate moral authority, integrity, a kind of goodness that you sense. ‘I assure you I’m not that good,’ she laughs.
S: I’ve never begged for mercy in my life.
‘Well, poor woman, she was having a nervous breakdown. Not everyone is going to be filled with sweetness and light in India. And if you’re having an unhappy marriage, going to another place, you take that with you. You take yourself with you.’
7) I: Have you ever had anyone?
Penelope has been twice married and divorced. As I’d read that her first husband married her own sister two years later, we discussed marriage. Her second husband, Sir Ian Holm, was also an actor. I ask if two actors understand each other better and she says they understand the insecurity of the profession, but adds, ‘Any success or failure you have in a marriage is a personal one’.
S: I’m sorry?
I mention her second husband and suddenly she says: ‘Actually I don’t want to talk about my marriages, if you don’t mind.’ She is polite but firm. ‘I think we’ll just say they were very good actors.’ She laughs, a bit nervously.
I: And when I say had, I’m being indelicate.
‘It’s not worth speaking about really. I was very happy at certain times in both marriages, but they didn’t work out, so probably best to leave it like that.’ Fair enough.
S: I don’t understand.
We stick to safer territory, working on the film in India. ‘My character Jean’s not in it as much as the others because she’s gone back, but she returns with her daughter.’ And with a fabulously waspish line. Surveying all the other retirees she declares, ‘I couldn’t resist the chance to come back and visit the crumbling old ruins – and to see how the hotel building’s going as well!’ She loves doing comedy, and working with old chums such as Judi Dench and Maggie Smith is a treat.
I: I’ll be delicate then. Let’s have dinner.
‘Maggie and Judi are lots of laughs, great fun. And all of us, it’s a very easy group of people.’ There are shopping trips with Celia Imrie as well. ‘India has lovely fabrics but you’ve got to be careful. They look wonderful over there, and then you bring them home and think, “Why on earth did I buy that?” But wonderful cottons, nighties and dressing gowns, stuff for children.
‘Because you hang about a lot with filming, we play a lot of Bananagrams, a very quick sort of Scrabble.’ They play it on Downton, too: ‘They put up a table for us off-set. Maggie mostly wins, but Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith, is extremely good at it. Great game.’
I: You might be hungry.
The romance between Isobel Crawley and Lord Merton is currently stalled.
S: I’m not
‘His sons are very anti the wedding,’ she says. ‘They don’t think she’s good enough to take their mother’s place. However, he’s been asked back for the next series, so perhaps things will move on!’ she reveals with a laugh.
Love in later life
S: Why would I…want to have dinner…if I wasn’t hungry.
The thought of late-flowering love is very uplifting. ‘Oh, it is,’ she agrees. ‘And it happens a lot. I mean, look at Judi. Her late husband Michael Williams was such a darling man. But now David [her current partner, David Mills] is extremely nice, and she’s very happy. So it’s really lovely.’
I: Mr. Holmes, if it was the end of the world, if this was the very last night, would you have dinner with me?
But what about her? ‘Oh, I’m very happy as I am,’ she says. ‘I live on my own. I’ve lived on my own for quite a while now. I don’t mind it at all. I have visitors, especially my grandson, who likes to be in my bed more than anything in the world. So that’s who shares my life.’ And your bed, I suggest. We laugh.
‘I’d never say never,’ she confesses. ‘I’m not looking out thinking I’m only half a person if I’m not with someone. But who knows?’
I: Too late.
Who knows indeed? She looks terrific. At 68 she is slender and fit, healthy, with glowing skin and twinkling, intelligent eyes.
S: That’s not the end of the world. That’s Mrs. Hudson.
‘Age is not something I think about,’ she says. ‘Age doesn’t come into it.’ She doesn’t eat much processed food, and loves cooking. ‘I love a glass of wine, red mostly. I like white too. Well, I like any old thing!’ She giggles. ‘And prosecco’s nice.’
（这两段真的特别loving了哈哈哈，have dinner然则是have sex相比较delicate的传教。第二段中两位的眼底也都以戏，相当屌~ 能演舞台湾戏剧的扮演者业务技巧基本都并不是犯嘀咕啦）
She’s a great walker, often goes for walking holidays in the north of England and does about five miles every morning through the parks in London: ‘Much more interesting than going to a gym, so boring. And it gives you time to yourself. You can sort out your day, clear your mind.’
8) M: One lonely, naive man, desperate to show off and a woman clever enough to make him feel special.
She loves London, and makes great use of the art, the classical music: ‘Looking at paintings, going to concerts, and walking. Sounds rather po-faced but it’s what I like.’
S: You should screen your defence people more carefully.
In her younger days she loved The Stones, The Beatles, Tom Jones: ‘But with children you miss out on a generation of music.’ Stevie Wonder makes her dance: ‘He had a daughter at the same time I had Alice, so Isn’t She Lovely seemed to epitomise what I felt about her.’
M: I’m not talking about the MOD man, Sherlock. I’m talking about you!
The interview is drawing to a close and I ask if she has any regrets in life. She pauses and rather surprisingly confides, ‘I wish my marriages had worked, but there you go. I wish my first marriage had worked more.’
The damsel in distress. In the end, are you really so obvious? Because this was textbook. The promise of love, the pain of loss, the joy of redemption. Then give him a puzzle and watch him dance.
Loss of a child
（麦哥是真出言成章，剧里其余大多地方也能展现，台词一看正是受过极好教育的的剧中人物，选词用语与剧中人物自个儿就很搭配。damsel in distress西方文化艺术中的标准形象，那样形容Irene显得Sherlock就好像中世纪骑士同样哈哈哈哈）
She hesitates. ‘I wish I’d had more children, but I lost one before I had Alice. I had a little boy before Alice, whom I lost. Alice was only two pounds nine ounces, so she was tiny. She was ten weeks early. I would have liked to have had three children, but I’ve got her.’
9) S: You got carried away. The game was too elaborate, you were enjoying yourself too much.
She just lets it out: ‘I went in at 12 weeks and had her at 30 weeks. I was in the hospital four months waiting for her, and all that time they looked after me at St Thomas’s. But I’ve got her, so there we go, I’m very lucky.’ But what a dreadful experience, how traumatic, I sympathise, and she continues: ‘He was premature, a week younger than Alice, 29 weeks, and he just didn’t survive, poor little chap. And yes it was dreadful, but it was a long time ago.’ She is marvellously stiff upper lip.
I: There’s no such thing too much.
But these things hang on, linger in your mind, don’t they? ‘They do, but I’m so lucky I’ve got Alice, and this little grandson now.’ Did she name the baby she lost? ‘No,’ she says. ‘You didn’t in those days, they didn’t even tell you. He was just taken away.’
S: Oh, enjoying the thrill of chase is fine. Craving the distraction of the game, I sympathise entirely. But sentiment, sentiment is a chemical defect found in the losing side.
As she gets up to leave, she says: ‘But that’s all gone. And this little chap is called Daniel, after Alice’s father. And it’s all right now. Yes, it was a difficult time, but one doesn’t want to make too much of it. It’s just one of those things that happens, and it happens to a lot of people.’
I: Sentiment? What are you talking about?
And, as she’s on her way. ‘Has it changed me? I think I appreciate things. I appreciate my daughter more than I can say.’
I: Oh, dear God. Look at the poor man. You don’t actually think I was interested in you? Why? Because you’re the great Sherlock Holmes, the clever detective in the funny hat?
S: No. Because I took your pulse. Elevated, your pupils dilated.
I imagine John Watson thinks love’s a mystery to me, but the chemistry is incredibly simple and very destructive.
When we first met, you tell me that disguise is always a self-portrait- how true of you. The combination to your safe, your measurements-but this, this is far more intimate, this is your heart and you should never let it rule your head.
You could have chosen any random number and walked out of here today with everything you work for. But you just couldn’t resist it, could you?
I’ve always assumed that love is a dangerous disadvantage. Thank you for the final proof.
I: Everything I said, it’s not real. I was just playing the game.
S: I know. And this is just losing.
10) S: When I say run, RUN!
后日想起旧闻，找到了很有意思的笔者原先都不了解的音讯。原本法力特为Sherlock在救下Irene后还写了一段接续！差十分的少传说剧情便是Irene命令Sherlock脱掉衣服，因为她要求装成汉子工夫透顶逃出去，Sherlock就只能大喊It's not fair 哈哈哈哈哈哈 同不经常间法力特也表示这四人每半年就差不离会那样对着干一回 That is their idea of a night of passion哈哈哈真的也是loving到过火啦~
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