Africa Lives On The BBC
Africa Lives On The BBC
The Girl in the Café
- Kelly MacDonald
"It was both comforting and terrifying to go in to audition
for The Girl in the Café, as I'd worked with everyone in the room
on State Of Play: the director David (Yates), producer Hilary (Bevan Jones)
and obviously Bill (Nighy)," says Kelly MacDonald.
"At least if people don't know you, you can try and
pretend to be more sophisticated or funny or something; but they all knew
"It's called The Girl in the Café - as they meet
in a café! From the very first scene, you are just completely intrigued
by these two people.
"Lawrence and Gina are both so different, but similar
in the fact that they are both quite uncomfortable in their own skin.
I think that's what pulls them together.
"I think Lawrence finds in Gina somebody that he can
relax with and she somehow understands him. She's the first person to
stop and pay attention to him and they seem to 'get it' with each other.
"You totally travel with and believe in them. The
age gap is immaterial - they're the right kind of shapes to fit together.
There is a real love between the two characters and hopefully you'll just
be rooting for them.
"Gina is an enigma. She doesn't give a lot away about
herself, although you are aware that she's got a past that might not have
been the happiest.
"When they meet, she's not aware of what he does for
a living and I think she is surprised when she finds out that he works
for the Government and works with all these incredibly powerful people.
"She is quite taken aback by it but interested in
what his working life means, and what his life's all about.
"Richard's writing has got a definite style and he makes
it so easy for an actor. It's such an easy job - I would love to pretend
that it's been such hard work and I really struggle to achieve these emotions,
but it's a gift it's there in the writing already.
"I was a bit scared because Gina does ask these incredibly
important and valid questions as the film unfolds. She asks people who
should know better really, but her little voice seems to shine out.
"Gina is fresh and quite naïve in a way. She's like a
sponge, learning from Lawrence, asking the poignant questions that cut
through all the nonsense about these complicated political issues - which
Gina sees quite simply.
"So really Gina's the voice of the average person
on the street.
"I love working with Bill Nighy. I'm
so lucky with this job. I was lucky to work with him on State Of Play
and I remember thinking, 'God, I hope this isn't the last time I get to
work with him'. So this is just a joy!
"I read a quote from Richard (Curtis)
that said, when he starts talking about the G8 Summit, people think he's
talking about a vegetable drink. I was one of those people and I just
feel really proud that I can help to let other people know what it's all
about, because I'm just learning about it all too."
Kelly MacDonald's career began with a starring role in
the film Trainspotting. Her movie career has continued with roles in
Stella Does Tricks; Elizabeth; Gosford Park; Never Land; Intermission;
and Tristram Shandy.
On television, Kelly is best known for playing Della in
the award-winning series State Of Play.
She will soon be seen as Evangeline in the major new movie,