Image: Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images
English actress Rosamund Pike, 40, is best-known for her role as the wily Amy Dunne in Gone Girl. Recently, she’s been in a flurry of brilliant films including Beirut, 7 Days In Entebbe and A Private War. She’s certainly having a very busy time of it! She grew up to musical parents – her mother was a violinist and her father was an opera singer – but she now lives in London with her life partner and their two young sons.
Read the full interview in our June 2019 issue – on sale from 13 May.
Here she talks about her ‘gypsy’ childhood, simple family times and what her mom and dad taught her about life.
In the beginning
Growing up, I led a bit of a gypsy life. I travelled a lot with my mother and father on their many concert tours. There was a great deal of driving around Europe, and we flew overseas often. Every experience influenced me and, in a way, prepared me for my life as an actress. I saw so many people and cultures, and I got used to the idea of not spending a lot of time at home. When I started acting, travelling felt like second nature.
Things my mother taught me
In a movie I did many years ago, I experienced that feeling many older woman talk about – the feeling of being invisible. The film covered a couple’s marriage over many years, so I had to ‘age’ as we went along. My mother said that when you’re a young woman, you don’t realise men are looking at you, but, as you get older, you certainly realise the point when no one’s looking at you. She taught me to look at appearances and ageing in a different way, and that no matter how old you are, you feel the same on the inside.
She and my dad also showed me that it was possible to turn a passion into a career. They never limited me in any way,
because they knew how important it is to love what you do. They just wanted me to be happy in a profession that allowed me to be creative and express myself – they were a wonderful example to me. I was encouraged to dedicate myself to something I loved, that hopefully one day I could make a living doing!
My kids keep me sane. Every actor is a perfectionist; it’s just embedded in them. We all want to do well in our professions, and there have been times when I felt I didn’t do my best, and I’d beat myself up and agonise over them. Since having kids, I think, “Oh yeah, I might have missed the mark with that,” and then I forget all about it. You can’t bring any frustrations of the day home with you. It’s very liberating.
Simple family times are magical. That’s the best way I know how to spend a holiday. In winter, it’s all about being bundled up with hats, scarves and mittens, and going for long walks outside. Spending time with loved ones is what makes any holiday special.
Laughter is the best medicine
Early on, I decided I was going to be a friend, and I was going to make the boys laugh. I wasn’t an attractive child or teenager – I distinctly remember what it was like to be considered an ugly duckling and, actually, I’m glad for it. I wasn’t the girl boys liked and it was good because I relied on wit; you develop a personality because you can’t rely on your looks. I still
love to laugh and make people smile – it’s a skill you never lose, thankfully.
By Features Writer, Stephanie van der Plank