My Secret Life: Daryl Hannah, actress, 49

Interview,Charlotte Philby
Saturday 20 February 2010 01:00

My parents were ... I was raised by Mum [a film producer] and my stepfather, Jerry; they're who I think of as my parents. They were just madly in love.

The house/flat I grew up in ... reminds me of something from 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. Even though it was in downtown Chicago, it felt like classic Americana – with the strange neighbours and all.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... able to fly – I still do.

If I could change one thing about myself ... I would be unbreakable. I do a lot of wild things – like bareback riding and stunts – and I've had a few bad breaks. I just recently got my right arm out of a cast.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... most physically challenging sports.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... answering these sorts of questions.

At night I dream of ... very strange worlds.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... usually surprises me. I always expect to see someone small and mischievous-looking.

My favourite item of clothing ... Anything soft.

I wish I'd never worn ... anything from the Eighties.

It's not fashionable but I like ... my Dad's old army boots. I've had them since I was a kid, but I guess now they're fashionable.

I drive/ride ... a 1983 matte-black biodiesel El Camino, which I run on waste grease. I've had it for 10 years.

My house is ... small and in the wilderness. It's made from salvaged and natural materials; I designed and built it myself.

My favourite work of art ... All the strange and wildly natural creatures and plants, and other created lives in the oceans, fields and forests.

My favourite building ... is the teepee in the grounds of my house, which is in a meadow in the middle of the Rockies. The teepee is sculptural and perfect. It's where I used to live, but it now functions as a guest house in the summer.

A book that changed me ... 'Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon' by Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet and writer – it's a book of selected poems which showed me how to find and appreciate the mundane and the magic essence in every single thing.

Movie heaven ... is sitting under the stars watching a great classic like 'La Dolce Vita' or 'The Wizard of Oz' projected against the side of a building or a sheet.

The last album I bought ... was by Monsters of Folk – I haven't listened to it yet but I like the band.

My secret crush ... is a secret.

My greatest regret ... is that we humans are so short-sighted.

My real-life villain ... All those who enslave other people and also all those who continue to decimate and plunder our natural system.

The person who really makes me laugh ... Gene Wilder.

The last time I cried ... was last night, watching the play 'War Horse' at the National Theatre in London. It's the first time I've seen the relationship between man and horse portrayed somewhat accurately.

My five-year plan ... is to continue to simplify my life and to join others in doing what I can to bring on a more peaceful and verdant world.

My life in six words ... I can't figure that one out.

A life in brief

Daryl Hannah was born in Chicago on 3 December 1960. She made her film debut in The Fury in 1978 and became a star in the Eighties playing, first, a replicant in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and then a mermaid opposite Tom Hanks in Splash. She went on to star in Wall Street, Roxanne, Attack of the 50ft Woman and Kill Bill. Daryl is a keen environmentalist and currently lives alone in the Rockies. Her latest film, The Closed Book, is released on DVD on Monday.

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