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Georgie Henley: "I want to create my own work"

The amazing Georgie Henley on her love for Michaela Coel, losing The Best Long Leather Coat, and her new show The Spanish Princess 

What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?

I’m playing Meg Tudor, the queen of Scotland, in The Spanish Princess which comes out soon and hopefully will provide some much needed escapism for everyone in the chaos of 2020!

It’s really epic and sexy and moving, and my character’s storyline is brilliantly bonkers.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

I recently worked with kids who were eight and nine years old and it hit me all over again how little I was when I was filming the first Narnia film.

It’s beyond amazing to be part of something that still means so much to people. 

If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?

This is absolutely clichéd but probably nothing. I think most things happen the way they’re supposed to, and I’ve been beyond lucky with the opportunities I’ve had.

There’s so much I’m grateful for without spending energy wishing I could change things.

What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?

I want to create my own work, to write and direct. I love acting, but there’s something to be said for being with a story from its genesis and having agency over how it’s told.

To me acting, and writing and directing, go hand in hand. I look at someone like Greta Gerwig and see the same qualities in her directing work as I do in her acting – tenderness, wit, generosity.

Outside of your family, who is / was your biggest inspiration?

That’s hard, there’s a lot. At the moment Michaela Coel. Everything she does is so completely aligned with who she is as an artist, there’s such an exhilarating level of integrity and intention to her work.

She’s ripping up the rulebook but without any element of self-consciousness.

Also she has The Best Face. Of all the faces.

Tell us something nobody knows about you…

I am Banksy. 

Style

What’s your favourite item of clothing – and what does it mean to you?

I’m a sucker for a good coat. I have a navy vintage Aquascutum one I got at the market under the Old Truman Brewery which treads a fine line between chaotic detective / 30's screen siren / seller of fine watches.

I feel genuinely powerful in a good coat, it’s like armour. Plus this one functions equally well as a blanket for impromptu naps on the go.

Favourite accessory – watch / jewellery / etc – and why is it special to you?

My parents gave me a gold bracelet for my 21st birthday which is simple and gorgeous and I wear it every day. It’s really lovely to have something with me all the time that reminds me of them.

It’s also become a bit of a ritual when I’m working to actively not put it on in the mornings and then I feel ready to be someone else for the day.

What items do you take on holiday and why?

Birkenstocks (comfort is key), sunglasses, a good book, and a vat of SPF50.

Is there an item you threw away – or lost – that you really miss?

I’m currently in a prolonged period of mourning for losing The Best Long Leather Coat.

It was a vintage find on Depop with the perfect balance of tailor and swoosh, and I lost it when I went to the Baftas this year.

Coat, if somehow you are reading this, please come back to me.

What’s next on your shopping list?

Scouring Depop for a replacement Best Long Leather Coat. But so far my efforts have been in vain.

What would you buy if money was no object?

My parents love being by the sea, it’s where they’re most at peace. I’ve always had a pipe dream of getting them a little beach cottage.

Maybe one day, fingers crossed.

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The Spanish Princess Part Two, Sundays on Starzplay

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