Samantha Morton: 'My motion-capture suit made me look like a Teletubby'


I find it very hard being a working mother Not being a mother, but being a working mother. But I love working and I love being a mum. I'm the kind of person who will still do the things that others might get someone else to do: I want my kids to see me putting the breakfast on the table and doing their laundry. So I do tire myself out that way.

Not that long ago my eldest daughter said she wanted to go to boarding school because she missed her friends. So she now goes to boarding school. And she's absolutely in her element because she has consistency with her friends. I thought it was a very brave, bold choice of hers to make.

I haven't had a holiday for years The last real proper holiday I had was before I had kids. I went to Bali and just ended up staying. It was after a film called Dreaming of Joseph Lees [in 1999]. Whenever I think, "Oh, I'm going to go on holiday," there haven't been the gaps. You work when you can. So holidays become a bit of time at home.

I try really hard to be mindful and very socially conscious Particularly as, growing up, I was in care. Now there are more and more kids going into care – rightfully so – but there are not enough foster homes, and they're closing the children's homes down. So where are the kids going to go? I don't understand it, and I've campaigned against it.

When I directed 'The Unloved', I didn't think I'd done a very good job I was very proud of it, but I just felt I could've done better. I don't think I was a particularly balanced director. I was obsessed, really obsessed. [The TV drama is seen through the eyes of an 11-year-old growing up in a children's home.] So when I got a text saying we'd won the Bafta [for Best Single Drama], I just burst into tears.

When I did 'Band of Gold', the letters I got broke my heart They were from girls who had been abused. Or people who used to judge prostitutes but now see them in a different light. That's when you realise you're getting to people. The older I get – and the more I look at kids going through what I went through – I just think, "I am so blessed."

I love acting so much, I can't give it up I've just done a new film with David Cronenberg, Cosmopolis. It's a tough part. But it's what I've done since I was 11. I can't just suddenly go, "I'm not going to act any more," because it makes me very fulfilled.

My role in my most recent film, 'John Carter', is the hardest part, technically, I've ever had It was all motion-capture for my character, so I'd wear these grey suits on set. I'm not Lara Croft; I'm very mumsy and I'm from Nottingham, and I looked like a Teletubby. It's not very flattering.

Samantha Morton, 34, is a British actress who has twice been nominated for an Academy Award – for 'Sweet and Lowdown' and 'In America'. 'John Carter' is out on DVD now