Joanna Page: 'Hollywood? I'd much rather be at home' - Profiles - People - The Independent

Joanna Page: 'Hollywood? I'd much rather be at home'

The 'Gavin & Stacey' co-star isn't letting success go to her head. Kunal Dutta meets her

Joanna Page is the co-star we all remember from Gavin & Stacey. And, at first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking she's still in character. Her conversation is punctuated by the same high-pitched giggle; words are shrouded in the same Swansea dialect. And she chatters like a machine-gun on everything from actors ("a bunch of arseholes"), to Ed Miliband ("a character from Sesame Street") and Jimmy Carr ("paying less tax than my dad").

James Corden may have stolen all the headlines recently, but 34-year-old Page is forging her own path. This winter she will join David Tennant in the film Nativity 2. Her next TV appearance will be alongside Sue Johnston of Royle Family fame, in Gates, a comedy on Sky about parents desperately negotiating the school run. And she's still basking in the praise for her performance in The Syndicate, the BBC drama about five Leeds supermarket workers who win the lottery. Corden might be beating his way into Tinseltown, but Page insists she'll "never" follow suit. She's too enamoured of the new cottage in Oxfordshire which she has bought with her actor husband James Thornton. "I'm really happy here," she says, in her Stacey demeanour. "I wake up and put my wellies on. We have a pair of ducks that've just appeared. I've got rabbits on the lawn. And there's nothing I love more than coming home."

Fittingly, Page has recently become the face of the PDSA veterinary charity. Her passion for animals makes it an obvious choice. But it's hard to ignore the growing catalogue of brands cashing in on her wholesome image. They include Superdrug and Mr Kipling. I wonder: could Barclay's Bob Diamond persuade her to add another string to her bow? She draws breath. "I could never do that," she says, insisting projects have to be "personal and meaningful". "This banking crisis is one ridiculous thing after another. You just think how much more shit can things get and what is the Government going to do? Will anyone get fired? Unlikely. I'll tell you what'll happen. There'll be a 15,000-page dossier with recommendations; and then nothing will happen."

And now that the lid is lifted, there are a couple of other points regarding Westminster. "I wish we'd stop fuelling a world of reactionary politics." Politicians, in general, "need to grow a pair of balls... I'm so over them." Oh, come on; what about the Opposition? "Oh my God. Ed Miliband looks like a character from Sesame Street. I just think he's terrible. When he says something, I just switch off."

When I mention James Corden's staggering success in the US, her outlook (and pitch) lift. "Isn't it brilliant?" she says. "Even when working with him you could tell that he had something special. He's a fantastic actor and we could all see how talented he was. When he got nominated for the Tony, I was really pleased; but when he won it was even more special." And it feels heartfelt; rather than steeped in the begrudging congratulations so prevalent in the air-kissing arts world. Then again she insists that neither she, nor her husband, are "typical actors", which in Page world, apparently involves "going to the Groucho" and "having sex with everybody". "I'd rather be at home watching TV with my husband and dog, to be honest."

And here's the thing; Page is honest. Stacey-like honest. And it is this wide-eyed wonder that is dangerously disarming. Earlier this year, David Cameron held a reception in No 10, where Page was a guest. Seemingly gripped by her allure, he was snapped practically bowing to her. And now we know what he said: "He told me that he really enjoyed Gavin & Stacey and wishes we were doing more of it. I recommended that he should watch Homeland. He said he hadn't seen it yet. He was watching Prisoners' Wives, apparently."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week