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Fiona Shaw On Getting the Call From Hollywood That Every Actor Dreams About

Posted on the 15 February 2012 by Thevault @The_Vault

Fiona Shaw On Getting the Call From Hollywood That Every Actor Dreams AboutTrue Blood’s Fiona Shaw was interviewed by The Guardian where she talks about the call from Hollywood that every actor dreams about. 

Fiona Shaw relates:I just got a phone call one day. They didn’t even go through my agent. Hollywood ringing – it’s what everyone dreams about. They’d seen me in Medea (1) and decided I’d be ideal. Medea was very glamorous, though; Marnie isn’t, but I wanted to do something that was so far away from what I was used to. I did a lot of research by going to witches’ meetings …”


Below is the interview with Deborah Warner.


How do you find a witches’ meeting? Is there a Witches’ Anonymous?
There’s the Bodhi Tree book store (2) in Hollywood, which has books on healing and that sort of thing, and in the window there are notices for a phenomenal range of offerings. I went to one meeting to bring back the dead.

Did any dead people come back from the dead?
Well … They do. But not in the form of True Blood. They come back vocally.

You believe that?
I didn’t say that! But it would be rude of me to be unpleasant about people who let me observe their meetings. So let’s say I saw them talk to the dead. At one meeting, a woman apologised for not being able to make contact with the dead. I said not to worry as I’m having trouble contacting the living.

How do you say a line like “Great Minerva, take us from our realm to yours” with a straight face?
It was a challenge.

Was appearing in Harry Potter useful training?
No. I was Petunia Dursley, a muggle, in those films.

Didn’t you get any tips from the others?
No, they kept us all apart. They filmed witches work on one day and muggle scenes on the other.

Would you have taken this role 10 years ago?
I’ve never taken myself too seriously, but it’s true that big TV shows like this have become more acceptable. HBO has become the hedge fund of classical acting. The writing is excellent and they aren’t afraid to use the full potential of wide-screen TV. It was like being invited to appear in 12 movies. It’s by far the biggest thing I’ve ever done: it gets an audience of 30m in the US. I get mobbed walking down Fifth Avenue. That’s never happened to me before.

Are you keen to do more vampire roles?
Not particularly! But True Blood is a critique of the way the US treats minorities. Now that the vampires have conformed and no longer drink human blood they get equal rights and the vote.

Is it true friends call you Fifi?
Very few people get to call me Fifi. And even fewer get to call me Feef.

Can you still recite The Waste Land (3) by heart?
Of course. It doesn’t leave me. The words are like a movie that I see in my head. I can also remember most of As You Like It and Much Ado, which I performed in my 20s. The plays you learn when you are young tend to stay.

Read the rest of this interview by going to:

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