When Jennifer Ehle arrives for tea at London's Berkeley Hotel she slips into her seat without drawing any attention to herself; and it's not only her quiet unobtrusiveness and punctuality that are unexpected - it's also that just after the introductions are done, she takes a sip of water before staring thoughtfully at her glass.
"What very thin glass this is," she says, holding it up to the light. "Wouldn't it be awful if I bit into it or somehow broke it? Do you ever get that feeling, when you're faced with such a fragile thing?"
This slightly eccentric opening gambit is not how most celebrated actresses operate. But then Ehle was never an operator; she has spent most of her career behaving in pleasingly unexpected ways. Because here is the woman who became famous as Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC's wildly successful adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice but then refused to capitalise on the rapturous response; indeed, she turned down all interview requests and ensconced herself at Stratford with the Royal Shakespeare Company rather than head for Hollywood. [more]
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Telegraph magazine: "What Lizzie did next"
Via Melbourne's The Age. A little lukewarm off the press now, but nonetheless one of the most recent full interviews with Jennifer Ehle.