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Feb 2011
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Film: My favourite cinema is the Arclight Hollywood. I saw a double bill there recently: Sofia Coppola’s ‘Somewhere’, followed by ‘The Fighter’. I found ‘Somewhere’ slight in comparison. But I’d stayed at the Chateau Marmont and I was curious to see ‘Somewhere’. I’d always thought it would be fun to capture that hotel, as it holds a special place in my LA life. ‘Blue Valentine’ was very painful to watch and it doesn’t change your life. ‘The King’s Speech’ lets you right in. The director told a true and simple story, very beautifully.

Theatre: I saw ‘Hamlet’ at the National with Rory Kinnear. We were at university together and then we acted together in the BBC’s ‘Women in Love’. I thought he was a brilliant Hamlet. When I saw Ben Whishaw I thought nobody could do it as well again – but he did it in spades.

Television: I’ve just been on a road trip in America and when I stopped at a motel, I’d watch late-night chat shows with Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel.

Books: I’m loving ‘Freedom’ by Jonathan Franzen. I love his observations. The middle-aged woman in the first chapter is not the person we thought she was when the story travels back in time. No one is ever who they’d like to be in their head.

Music: It’s unlike me but I went to a thrash-metal concert performed by Omega Crom in LA. I got beer thrown at me and there was a lot of head banging. I also saw Roger Waters do ‘The Wall’, live at the Staples Centre in LA.

Visual Arts: Franz Xaver Messerschmidt at the Neue Galerie in New York. It focuses on the artist’s “character heads”. The 18th-century Austrian sculptor spent part of his life looking in the mirror pulling funny faces, turning ideas of classical sculpture on its head.

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