Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rosamund Laid Bare; Last Year She Played a Bond Girl, Now She's a Box-Office Sellout on the London Stage. Rosamund Pike Talks to Stuart Husband about Her Blonde Ambition

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rosamund Laid Bare; Last Year She Played a Bond Girl, Now She's a Box-Office Sellout on the London Stage. Rosamund Pike Talks to Stuart Husband about Her Blonde Ambition

Article excerpt

Byline: ROSAMUND PIKE

How am I going to be spending the summer?' muses Rosamund Pike, squinting against the sunlight streaming through the window of an office in the Royal Court Theatre.

'Well, I'll be rediscovering London after a couple of summers away. I love the city at this time of year,' she continues.

'It turns languid, and gets fairly empty.' She turns to me with a wry smile. 'Apart from the theatres, I hope.' Pike needn't worry about that. Her role in Terry Johnson's Hitchcock Blonde at the Royal Court was a sellout - it has just transferred to the West End; and Pike loyally transferred with it. 'Some may see it as wilfully perverse,' she says, her tone as cool and clear as a mountain spring. 'They think I ought to be doing a megabucks movie,' she says. They've got a point. Last year, she played Bond Girl Miranda Frost in Die Another Day and could easily have jetted off to Hollywood. Instead, she took to the stage. As Blonde, a stand-in for Hitchcock's platinum leading ladies, from Kim Novak to Janet Leigh, she simulates orgasm and takes off her clothes. 'There's a part of me that likes to confront and challenge, and you can be more daring on stage than on film,' she explains. 'There's that hushed moment of violence or nudity or whatever; the audience knows there are no camera tricks. It's so exciting - the purest hit.' In truth, Pike is far from animated as she says this; she addresses a lot of her remarks to the window, giving me a chance to study her redoubtable profile. Her gaze is equally disarming; bright green eyes, porcelain skin, rosebud mouth. Her thoughts rove down various byways; often, a stray observation will collide with my next question. She's aware of this. 'It's the mark of an only child,' she laughs, 'someone who's spent probably far too long living in her head.' Along with the meandering, however, comes the only child's quiet confidence that she'll get what she wants in the end.

Pike was born 24 years ago in West London; her parents, Caroline and Julian, were itinerant opera singers, picking up jobs here and there, and Pike had a raggle-taggle, middleclass boho upbringing. 'I always wanted to act,' she says, 'and my parents taught me that creative fulfilment was more important than wealth or fame.' She went to boarding school in Bristol and then to Wadham College, Oxford, where her English degree was interrupted by her first TV costume-drama jobs (Love in a Cold Climate, Wives and Daughters). 'I didn't get Oxford at first,' she admits. 'I wasn't attuned to it at all. But when I went back after working, it suddenly all made sense. It was like I was living in Brideshead Revisited.' Now she's back in London, renting a flat in Chelsea: 'Back to my roots,' she laughs. …

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