Minnie Driver: 'When I'm riding an 8ft wave, it feels like I'm flying'

 

I've always loved the idea of playing an inspiring, rabble-rousing teacher I had an amazing teacher at my school called Alastair Langlands, who introduced me to my first love: storytelling. He made language, words and poetry magical, which has stayed with me. It's what attracted me to the role of a drama teacher in [my new film] Hunky Dory.

Motherhood makes you become the best version of yourself When there's a little person looking to you to inform them of who they are going to be, you'd better not lose your temper at the shops, and you'd better have a kind word to say about everyone you've met, as it's how you want your child to be.

I beg other actors to do the last scene of the day When I'm on set, I'll say, "Please can we swap scenes so I can get home and put [my son] Henry to bed?" When I'm working now, I'm constantly advocating for time.

You pay for not living in the place you're from That's what I've realised living in the US for the past 13 years. There's this invisible connection I feel whenever I'm in London visiting friends and family, and it's something only people who have emigrated away can appreciate. Although the wonderful quality of life I have over in Malibu makes up for it.

Surfing is my great passion When I'm riding an 8ft face it feels like I'm flying. It's so freeing as there is no discourse or distraction and it makes you realise how much babble you have in your head most of the time. It can be scary, though; I've broken ribs in Hawaii, though now I won't do some of the bigger waves because I have a kid.

I do whatever pays the bills When I was 20 I was signed to Island Records as part of a Massive Attack-style band, with white-boy rappers and the girls singing the chorus, but then it all went tits-up and we got dropped by the label. I was considering another music deal when Circle of Friends came along [in 1995], so I ended up acting. You just need to make a living; I've always been that way inclined.

I was devastated when 'The Riches' was cancelled after two seasons I'm still sad about it, but I did a good job [Driver was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress for her role in the TV drama]. A middle-class English girl got to play a crazy, meth-addicted Southern gypsy, and as an actor, sometimes a good performance has to be enough.

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are It's a great quote from [the author] Anaïs Nin. I take it to mean that you are always in control of your happiness by the approach you take to things that happen.

Minnie Driver, 42, is a British actress who was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress in 1997 for her role in 'Good Will Hunting'. 'Hunky Dory' (15) is released on Friday

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