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вторник, 31 января 2017 г.

Emilia Fox ‘Losing my baby made me scared I’d never be a mum’

After a heartbreaking miscarriage and then the breakdown of her marriage, Emilia Fox hit rock bottom. Here, she talks about her new love and surprise pregnancy

If anyone has a right to be a bit of a diva, it's Emilia Fox. Born into one of Britain's most powerful acting dynasties, she won her first acting role playing Colin Firth's little sister in the TV adaptation of Pride And Prejudice at the age of 18, and she's never looked back.
But not for her the stroppy tantrums of some stars. Instead, she has slipped in and out of a series of gowns and killer heels on our Fabulous shoot in the blistering heat without a murmur of complaint or the hint of a demand. And all this while five months pregnant.
In fact, she looks quite stunned when she's offered a cup of tea and a sit down.
"Don't worry, I don't think we're done yet. I'll wait until everyone is happy," she says.
Then she confides: "I think when you come from a family of actors you get the idea pretty quickly that it's all about getting the job done and doing it as well as you can - or else."

In person Emilia, 35, is nothing like the aloof, remote forensic pathologist, Dr Nikki Alexander, she has played in BBC1's crime drama Silent Witness since 2004.
Her cut-glass accent may be a constant reminder that she is a member of the Fox acting dynasty (her father is The Day Of The Jackal star Edward Fox, her uncle the actor James Fox, and her cousin Laurence Fox, star of Lewis and husband of Billie Piper) but Emilia is very much a girl's girl. She is smiley, chatty and bursting with pride about her pregnancy with her boyfriend, charity campaigner Jeremy Gilley, 41.
"I love being pregnant. I've been horribly sick but now that's all calmed down and I feel amazing. I've got a cleavage for the first time in my life and I absolutely love it! I feel like this is such a special time. I know thousands of people get pregnant every day, but to me it's amazing because I thought it may never happen again after the last time."
The last time is something Emilia still finds hard to talk about. Three and a half years ago, she suffered a miscarriage while married to Jared Harris, 48, star of US drama Mad Men. "I was 10 weeks pregnant. I'd told everyone and that was one of the worst things - having to say it wasn't going to happen any more," she says quietly.
"At the time I felt I couldn't and shouldn't make a fuss. So many pregnancies end in miscarriage, and it wasn't as if I was ill. I got on with working and Jared was away filming. Acting was the one thing I knew how to do best and it helped because I just carried on as normal, blocking everything out."
I love being pregnant - I feel amazing
She pauses: "But then a year later it just hit me. I don't know whether it was to do with the anniversary, but I just felt this incredible emotional loss and confusion."
A friend suggested Emilia see a therapist and her sessions made her realise how much she'd been bottling up inside and how parts of her life "weren't working".
Specifically her marriage to Jared, who she'd fallen in love with in 2003 when they starred alongside each other in a West End production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. He proposed after filling her west London home with her favourite wild flowers. When they married two years later in Dorset it all seemed so perfect. The son of the legendary actor Richard Harris, their union was the joining together of two dynasties and Emilia was radiantly happy. It's clearly still difficult for her to put into words what actually went wrong between them.

"I loved being married to Jared. We had the most incredible relationship and our marriage was very happy. It was always unbelievably romantic - we spent so much time apart working that when we were together it was always flowers, amazing holidays and that sort of thing. Jared was the man who just swept me off my feet and everything was so heightened and amazing when I was with him."

Emilia with her ex-husband Jared
Jared was busy carving out a career in Los Angeles, and Emilia had to split her time between America and England to be with him. She says it was only when she suffered the miscarriage that she realised she didn't want a long-distance marriage any more.
"To have a family, to really be with someone, well sometimes it just has to be normal. That seems such a strange thing to want, but it was what I needed and still need.
"It was hard for both of us to accept what we had wasn't working for me. "All my life I'd believed that whatever happened you just had to go with the flow, but I got to this point where I was suddenly in my early 30s trying to work out exactly what I did want, what was right for me. It's only when you lose a child you realise how much you want that, how you see your future."
It also brought home to Emilia how idyllic her life had been up until that point. She describes her childhood in rural Dorset as "happy", her parents as "incredible" and her relationships as "wonderful".
All of which left her less equipped to deal with it when her life went into meltdown.

Starring as Nikki in Silent Witness
She says: "Within a year I had a miscarriage and my marriage, a marriage I treasured, was ending. For the first time in my life I was dealing with massive things going horribly wrong. The therapy helped me to get through it - it's still something that's part of my life - it was a tough time."
While she has been through the mill in her personal life, her career has gone from strength to strength.
She was at Oxford studying English literature when she landed her first role as Georgiana Darcy in Pride And Prejudice.
She has gone on to appear in Oscar-nominated movies such as The Pianist, as well as regular lead roles on British TV in everything from Channel 4's The Queen and David Copperfield to Coupling and Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased).
She laughs off the idea she was ever a rebel despite briefly dating eccentric Randall & Hopkirk co-star Vic Reeves ("He's so lovely, but we were never engaged") and posing for men's magazines. "People have this idea I was born in a chiffon dress. I'm not that sort of girl. My parents were never bothered by me appearing in men's magazines, although they never saw them.
Therapy helped me get through
"I did get in trouble when I talked about stripping and lap dancing for my role in the movie Cashback. I actually found it incredibly liberating and it made me far more assured about my own body, but some people thought I was glorifying the sex trade. I still believe that trying out lap dancing for yourself makes a woman much more aware of her own sexuality."
Emilia is equally frank when discussing her relationship with her new partner, Jeremy. During the last year of her marriage she had to deal with rumours of an affair with handsome young British actor, O.T. Fagbenle, 30, her co-star in the TV drama Consuming Passions. "That was awful. There was nothing going on but I was so worried. Then I realised that no one important cared because they all knew the truth."
She was, however, friends with Jeremy, a former actor, before she split with Jared: "I've known him for years in his capacity as a campaigner for Peace One Day, which lobbies for one day of global truce.
"I was fascinated by what he was doing and always thought he was incredibly inspirational. We started off as friends and kept in touch. We never went on formal dates - we just realised we got on very well."

On the red carpet with partner Jeremy
Her new relationship has benefited from the lessons she took away from her marriage.
"I'm much more aware of sharing my feelings, being more open and we've travelled together when he's been working, and he's been there in the evenings when I've been doing Silent Witness. It's a very different relationship, very lovely."
But her pregnancy was not planned. She laughs: "It was a delightful surprise. I was so happy. Jeremy was so happy. He's going to be an amazing dad - he loves kids. We have lots of babies in the family.
"Obviously my cousin Laurence and Billie have Winston who is gorgeous. I haven't spoken to Billie since I announced that I was pregnant but I know she'll be thrilled. She's such a lovely girl and a lovely mum."
Her ex-husband was one of the first people she told. "Jared was very happy for me because he knows how much it means to me.
"This time I waited till the last moment when I knew everything was going to be OK before I told people. I was worried at first that something would go wrong. But I've been fine and healthy and all my cravings have been for good foods like oatcakes.
"Everyone at Silent Witness was incredible. We filmed the whole series before anything really showed and I was constantly being told to rest but I didn't need to. I've just felt happy."
Ask her if having a baby means another wedding and she bursts out laughing: "You know we don't even live together. I think our first step has to be that. I think because we started out as friends and it was quite some time before anything happened that we just didn't do the moving in together thing."
They are planning to move in soon though. But Emilia has one big concern.
"I'm slightly worried how he's going to find living with me. I'm messy and he's neat. But he knows me inside out. We had a gentle, long period of getting to know each other and then a very quick pregnancy. He's been through all the emotions of this pregnancy so he's seen all sides of me. We've cried, laughed and just been with each other."
She pauses and looks more serious:
"I would like to get married again because I do really believe in marriage. It's something I really value. I want this baby, I want more babies. Of all the things I've had in life, what I want most is my own happy little family."
You can't help hoping Emilia gets what she wants.
  • Emilia Fox will appear in Silent Witness and Merlin later this year.

Emilia says her pregnancy was a "delightful surprise"
So Emilia, have you ever...
Blamed something bad on someone else?
I take the blame for everything I've done.
Been arrested?
Yes, I was stopped at the airport after an acting job. I looked strange with dyed black hair because of the character I'd been playing. I was taken into a cell for hours, and I felt terrified. Then my mobile rang and I just screamed: "Help! I've been arrested in Russia." Soon afterwards a beautiful blonde came in, spoke Russian to the guards then said to me: "Ralph Fiennes sent me to get you out of here." It had been him on the phone. I cried with relief!
Gone commando?
Yes, lots of times. I don't have a problem with it.
Told a friend her outfit looked lovely when really it didn't?
I would absolutely never do that - you're no friend if you do.
Forgotten your boyfriend's birthday?
Never ever.

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