My Secret Life: Hermione Norris, actress, 44


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The Independent Online

My parents are... My father is dead, my mother was a health worker who was also interested in the arts, and who continues to have an insatiable appetite for culture. I really don't know how she does it.

The household I grew up in... Chaotic, noisy, unpredictable. My mum was on her own with four of us.

When I was a child I wanted to... I think I probably wanted to become a fashion designer. I used to make my own little fashion magazines.

If I could change one thing about myself...I would stop spending money I don't have, especially in children's clothes shops: nightmare.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at... sleeping.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... anything fiscal.

At night I dream of... flying all around the place. It's quite disappointing waking up.

I wish I'd never worn... almost all of the things I've worn in all of the fashion shoots I've ever done in my entire career.

What I see when I look in the mirror... Hermione Norris.

It's not fashionable but I like... Lionel Richie.

I drive... a black Golf.

My home is... my sanctuary, my sanity, my love and my life.

My favourite work of art... I have a beautiful drawing by Michael Kenny, an artist friend of mine who died, that I love – it's a stunning drawing.

A book that changed me... It's not a really a book, but Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. It was the play that got me really enthusiastic about classical drama. I must have been about 13 or 14 when I read it at school, and I just fell in love with the character of Malvolio. I have never acted [in the play], but if I got the chance to I would definitely want to play Malvolio.

Movie heaven... An old black and white movie, like Blithe Spirit.

My favourite building... The Houses of Parliament.

The last album I bought... is by Adele; it's called 21.

My secret crush is... that guy from Grey's Anatomy, McDreamy – Patrick Dempsey. He's gorgeous.

My greatest regret... Oh, I don't bother with having regrets – I think they are a waste of time.

My real-life villains... The world is full of treachery, it is everywhere.

The person who really makes me laugh... My children.

The last time I cried... I cry all the time, so probably this morning.

My five-year plan... To laugh as much as I possibly can.

What's the point? To be alive.

My life in six words... Live one day at a time.

A life in brief

Hermione Norris was born in London in February 1967 and studied acting at Lamda. In 2001 she was nominated for a British Comedy Award for her role as Karen in the TV series Cold Feet. She has also appeared in Wire in the Blood, Spooks and Falling Apart and starred in movies including Separate Lies. Last year she appeared in a West End production of Blithe Spirit. Norris is supporting the launch of Philips PerfectCare steam iron. She lives in London with her husband and two children