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I make a really delicious eggplant and squash curry that's inspired by Vij of Vij's Restaurant, a great chef and restaurateur in Vancouver. I like to cook that dish because it's really simple, but the flavor is so pungent and intense that I feel like I'm a real chef whenever I create it.
Any good director, and I've worked with a few that I would call very good, they know how to disarm any anxieties very quickly.
I really feel that I had a genuinely diverse, multicultural upbringing, and I just don't find New York to be quite as diverse. Maybe I'm romanticising, but I feel that I was exposed to a real melting pot in terms of culture and pop culture. My kids are essentially middle-class, but I do try to remind them that they come from humble beginnings.
I was a big fan of John Cassavetes, his wife, Gena Rowlands, and that era of filmmaking which was about realism and which represented the antithesis of the dreamy escapism you found in musicals.
I was this very precocious kid with a big personality. When my mother saw that modelling was something I enjoyed, she didn't dissuade me.
You have to be willing to be afraid if you're going to be an artist.
Great artists are the ones who have put their entire selves out there to be adored, humiliated, to be picked at, cherished, all of those things, and haven't shied away from that.
Growing up in London, with a hippie mom, I don't know that I'm most people's definition of what a black person is. I'm mixed, yes, but in the world I'm defined as black before I'm defined white. I've never been called white.
I dabbled a little bit in the whole music thing but I've always thought about Bernie Taupin, who is Elton John's lyricist; Elton John is the great melody and song writer but Bernie Taupin is the one who writes all the lyrics. I don't write lyrics, and I never wanted to be in the music business if I was just going to be a puppet in it.
I can remember being very keen to go to drama school at the age of eight, and practising ballet in my bedroom to Queen soundtracks.
I wanted to work with Mike Leigh. I had my list of British people I wanted to work with, and I wanted to work with David Lynch and Woody Allen.
I've stayed away from sexy roles. It's never interested me.
As an artist, there's so many categories that you're put into, that there are so many things that I'm about that I've never explored as an artist on film. I don't see myself in so many characters in film.
Coming from the U.K., I can think of so many great songs and musical moments that didn't require a belter of a voice; my favorite singer is Kate Bush and she's not a belter, or PJ Harvey... I'm definitely more of an alternative girl.
One of the reasons I didn't ever pursue a career - in the music world if you're black or mixed, you need to be able to belt a song or else you're not a singer, you know?
There are many mediocre entertainers who don't aspire to much more than fame and glory. It's very easy to have them as your role models because there aren't as many greats. Go back, discover the greats, and take it from there.
There was a point when I was very young where I remember talking with my mom about going to drama school and this was maybe when I was 8, 9, 10 years old - and she knew that I was also academically very capable, and she steered me in another direction.
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Helena Bonham Carter
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