My Secret Life: Anna Maxwell Martin, 35, actress

'I can dance like Rihanna'

My parents were… Ros and Ivan. They [showed] the best side of having a faith, very loving and very generous. They were both scientists; they had no clue why I wanted to sing and dance all the time.

The household I grew up in… We were always outside; your whole life involved dens. Dens with passwords: if you didn't know the password your life was over. It was a northern mock-Georgian cul-de-sac, aspirational middle-class.

When I was a child I wanted to be… Whitney Houston.

If I could change one thing about myself… I've been told to say this by my step-daughter, Rosie: I'd be a cool as my step-daughter, Rosie.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at… a dance-off. I look like a dweeb, but I can dance like Rihanna.

You may not know it but I'm no good at… being sick, social events, performing at weddings, and dealing with raw meat with bones in it.

At night I dream of… babies being lost in the bed.

I wish I had never worn… headscarves; I used to wear them a lot when I was 12.

What I see when I look in the mirror… My two little children, because they follow me everywhere, even to the toilet.

It's not fashionable but I like… William Morris wallpaper and good upholstery.

I drive/ride… I share a car with my husband. It's the first time I've had to share a car and I struggle with it, more than with our children or our marriage!

My house is… It's just my house. With my family, I wouldn't really care if we lived in a caravan.

My favourite work of art… A painting my stepson drew of my first daughter Maggie. It's weird, and psychedelic, I don't know if he was on acid at the time.

A book that changed me… The Demon Headmaster. I read it probably 100 times when I was seven. I realised you could squirrel away with a book and just love reading it over and over again.

Movie heaven… The Princess Bride.

My greatest regret… I want to say I don't have regrets, I sort of believe in 'The Serenity Prayer', but if I really had to pick one, it would be talking too much.

My secret crush… Nick Frost. Now it won't be a secret and we can be together! He's married, but I don't care.

My real-life villains… Disappointingly there is someone, who I can't name, but unfortunately for me I do have one.

My five-year plan… Wasn't that something that Stalin invented? I don't have one.

What's the point? Love your kids, be a good friend, be a kind wife, put out occasionally, and work hard.

My life in six words… Female eye-patch wearer done good.

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