Anna Friel: ‘My most treasured possession? A love poem’

Born in Rochdale, Friel, 43, began acting at 13. In 1994, on Channel 4’s Brookside, she shared the first pre-watershed lesbian kiss on British TV. Her TV work includes Pushing Daisies, The Girlfriend Experience, The Street and Butterfly. In 2017 she won an international Emmy for Marcella, which returns for a third series later this year. This month, she stars in ITV’s Deep Water. She has a daughter with her former partner David Thewlis and lives in Windsor.

When were you happiest?
Finding out I was pregnant when I’d been told it would be difficult to have children.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My impatience.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Laziness and a lack of work ethic.

What is your most treasured possession?
A love poem that covers an entire book, which David wrote for me and gave to me just before I gave birth to Gracie.

What makes you unhappy?
Being alone for too long; not being able to solve a problem; people being unkind to each other.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
I would rather save what we’ve got than bring back what we’ve already lost.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
I’ve been fortunate to attend some incredible dinner parties with a lot of people I’d want to meet. One of my favourites was with Robin Williams and Billy Connolly: I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much. I’d add Katharine Hepburn, Albert Einstein, David Attenborough and George Harrison.

READ  Mental Health Awareness Week: can a tattoo help you overcome mental health problems?

What is your most unappealing habit?
I leave a tiny bit of food on my plate, so you can never put it straight in the dishwasher. I don’t know why.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A barrister or a pop star.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Red wine and crisps.

What does love feel like?
Warm, comforting, hopeful, inspiring and daft.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Getting down to the last two of certain jobs (Gangs Of New York and Fight Club) and being thwarted at the last second.

What is the closest you’ve ever come to death?
I nearly died by burst ovarian cyst in 2001. I was doing the front cover of a magazine and someone said, “Can you not pull your tummy in?” It turned out that I had been carrying two litres of blood in my stomach. I was rushed to hospital the next morning and nearly died of septicaemia. They had to give me two blood transfusions. Had it been an hour later it would have been bye bye.

What song would you like played at your funeral?
Weird Fishes by Radiohead.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
To care about the right things, not to worry about useless things and that being positive can help many situations. My nana always told me to keep my pecker up. It sounds like a small thing, but actually, if you keep your head in the air it keeps you calm.

Tell us a joke
Did you hear about the peanut that was mugged? It was a salted.

READ  Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE sheikh and fashion designer, dies aged 39


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.