5 days in the life of ... Alex Kingston
The British star of the medical soap 'ER' reflects on a celebrity's life in LA
Sunday 15 March 1998
Occasionally the scriptwriters come up with something an English person wouldn't say, and we change it. Or I introduce English expressions to the character. I've had Dr Corday using the word "tosser". I'm sure it wouldn't be allowed if they really knew what it meant.
We shoot five days a week. I'd had the weekend off and on Saturday night I was on the ER table at the Screen Actors' Guild Awards dinner. We had Jane Fonda and Ted Turner at the next table, and you look across and there's Lauren Bacall and Gregory Peck and Jack Nicholson. This morning I was on set at seven. We shot until about 10.30, and then I had a break until the afternoon. If I have two or three hours to kill I drive home or go to the gym, but my agent was over from England, and I had lunch with her and my publicist. Tonight I baby-sat for the young daughter of my assistant Henry. I'm her godmother.
TUESDAY: A day off. That means not waking up till 8.30, and then I go for an hour's walk. I live in a part of LA called Studio City, the opposite side to Beverly Hills, not the posh side. Where I walk is an area which I'm told Hugh Grant described as "dogshit canyon". Then I went to yoga, had lunch with my agent, and then dealt with my mail. Fan-mail is building up. I get quite a lot from England in which people have enclosed stamped addressed envelopes - which is nice of them but of course the stamps aren't much use here. I'm beginning to be recognised more. In LA people are used to seeing actors and don't react so much. But we go to Chicago four times a year to shoot the exterior scenes, and there they are much more vocal. Tonight I went to see the Coen brothers' new film, The Big Lebowski, which is good.
WEDNESDAY: My birthday. I didn't have any filming until this afternoon, so I had friends round for a breakfast party. Henry produced fat-free muffins. Tonight I was taken out for supper by a close friend - to a restaurant called the Four Oaks. It used to be a brothel in the 1920s. Now it's one of the best restaurants in LA.
THURSDAY: Tonight I was fortunate enough to be invited to the premiere of Primary Colors, with John Travolta and Emma Thompson. I know her socially and we've done one film together - Carrington - so it was nice to catch up with her again. There are more and more Brits out here, but we don't particularly hang out together. I bumped into Helen Baxendale from Friends a while ago. I'd last seen her when we worked together at the Hampstead Theatre. For premieres you get designers offering to dress you for the evening, which is nice. I wore something by Amsale, an Ethiopian designer working in New York. She's not so established yet, but she's wonderful and I like to support her. I give her back the outfits afterwards, because I haven't got the wardrobe space.
FRIDAY: A long day's shooting. Trauma scenes always take longest, because you have real doctors on hand advising you, and they rehearse each actor individually. I think I could probably give somebody an injection now without being too squeamish about it. I really enjoy living here, and have a fear that I might find England claustrophobic. But I miss the daffodils, and imagine the blossom coming out.
Life & Style blogs
Husband creates spreadsheet detailing wife's 'excuses' for turning down sex
UK pirates will get four warning letters a year
Apple has installed security backdoors on 600m iPhones and iPads, claims security researcher
Why do we have blood types?
Xiaomi Mi4: 'Chinese Apple' launches flagship mobile to challenge iPhone
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 2 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 4 Amy Winehouse unpublished 2004 interview: ‘Ten years from now I’ll be 30, so I’ll maybe have one baby’
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...