Anne-Marie Duff: I wasn’t a tap dancing five-year-old
Suffragette star Anne-Marie Duff had to overcome crippling shyness as a child to make it as an actress.
The 45-year-old may be rubbing shoulders with Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan in her latest movie, but as a child she struggled to fit in at school. Extremely shy, Anne-Marie didn’t have the all-singing, all-dancing start to her career like many of her peers had but her inner determination helped her achieve her goal.
“I wasn’t a tap-dancing five-year-old,” she confessed to Britain’s The Observer newspaper. “(School was) a place where I knew I shouldn’t park my car. It was like a waiting room… a period of life to get through. I was just so bloody-minded. It must sound ridiculous to anyone else, but I think, if you are creative things become necessary to you.”
Anne-Marie made her name on British TV show Shameless before moving into films including Notes on a Scandal and Nowhere Boy. She is also a keen theatre actress but whatever medium she gets to act in, she enjoys the process of getting into character.
“It’s just a huge amount of… foreplay,” she laughed, before adding what inspires her. “(Something) as lateral as a smell, a flower, a piece of music.”
Her husband James McAvoy is no doubt another source of inspiration. James, 36, also moves between genres and the couple have both starred in separate theatre productions of Macbeth. While they have always been strict about maintaining their privacy, Anne-Marie couldn’t help but admit how impressed she is by her spouse’s talents.
“He was just unrecognisable to me in Filth,” she gushed about his 2013 film.
Both stars have had much acclaim for their respective work, and Anne-Marie has received nominations at the BAFTA and Laurence Oliver Awards among others. But despite such praise, the actress still can’t bring herself to read reviews of her work.
“It’s like reading someone’s diary – you won’t stop until you find something negative,” she sighed.
- Cover Media