Marie Claire UK - 10.2019

(Axel Boer) #1


You’ve just played Virginia Woolf inVita and Virginia.
Of all your characters, whose wardrobe have you
coveted the most?
‘Jed inThe Night Manager. I was going to say Jordan Baker
[TheGreat Gatsby], but I’d nick all of Jed’s stuff because I
could actually wear it. She had the best nightwear
I’ve ever seen; the most beautiful nightgowns. I tried hard
tosteal them.’
Have you ever taken a souvenir home?
‘Jedwore this amazing necklace I don’t think anyone noticed

  • maybe if you freeze-framed and zoomed in – but it was so
    important to me. It was a little skull on a gold chain with
    a diamond in one eye, and I just loved that I knew it was hers,
    unlikeall the other Richard Roper-bought jewellery.’
    It’s a very interesting time for women in film. How
    confident do you feel in your own voice?
    ‘The older I get and the more experience I have, the more
    it becomes apparent that your truest strength is to speak
    withyour own voice. It’s scary to be authentically yourself.’
    Why do you think we find that so difficult?
    ‘I think it’s natural, when you’re trying to stake out a place
    withina particular industry, to have role models. But the
    flip side of constantly looking upwards is feeling unworthy.
    If you’re always being comparative and believing
    you’re coming up short, that’s destructive. It’s important
    tothink, “One day, I will...” For me, [my
    role models] were always women who
    carry themselves with integrity, but
    make interesting art. That’s a powerful
    but difficult dynamic to strike up in
    your own life.’
    Has there been a particular turning
    point in your own career?
    ‘I think it’s only with hindsight that you
    understand what was a turning point. If
    you actually felt the penny drop, you
    should probably check yourself, like,
    “Whoa, you’re doing OK, but you’re not
    that great.” [Laughs.] It’s an interesting
    schism between knowing quietly inside
    yourself that you’re worth being heard,
    but challenging yourself so you don’t
    plateau. I look back at
    certain moments that
    empowered me and it’s
    always about the people
    I worked with.’
    Whatsprings to mind?
    ‘Making Steve McQueen’s
    movieWidowswas a huge
    moment in my personal
    life. I can remember when
    I first saw Hunger[2008]
    and thinking, “I don’t
    know what this is, I’ve
    never seen a film like it.”
    There are images in that
    movie that never leave you.
    So then I meet this man
    [McQueen] and he gives me a job. Then the work starts.
    And the work is, “How do I rise to the challenge of what
    he’s going to ask of me and how do I do it so that I’m proud

‘The older I get, the

more it becomes

apparent that your

truest strength is to

speak with your own

voice. It’s scary to be

authentically yourself’

ofit myself ?” You can
never be in control of
how someone receives
your work, but you can
know in the moment
whetheryou have done
You’reabout to start
filming Christopher
butbefore that we’ll
see you in The Burnt Orange
Heresywith Mick Jagger...
‘Meeting him was surreal. We were
shooting in a villa in Lake Como and
oneof the big, old kitchens had been
turned into a make-up room. And
someone was like, “Mick’s on set,
he wants to meet you.” I walked in and
he was standing there, hopping from
one foot to the other eating a chocolate
biscuit. He was just really excited to
hang out. You flatline in your brain
when you meet someone like that.
You just think, “You are Mick Jagger”,
you don’t hear anything else.’■
Elizabeth Debicki is the 14th recipient of the 2019 Women
In Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award



Elizabeth Debicki
starring with Tom
Hiddleston inThe
Night Manager
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