By A.D. Pruitt
Her critically-acclaimed portrayal of Nicole, a recovering heroin addict and Denzel Washington’s love interest in the movie “Flight,” has put British actress Kelly Reilly on the radar for American moviegoers.
But, the actress, who has performed on stage and television for nearly 20 years, including a starring role as Mary Watson in “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” isn’t ready to claim Nicole as her breakout role.
“It’s lovely, but I also feel like I’ve been around, you know, for 18 years,” she says. “It’s very nice for me to be able to do my first movie in America and it be such as success.”
Reilly, who won the Hollywood Spotlight Award last month for “Flight” at the Hollywood Film Awards, has been keeping busy since the movie. She just completed her fourth film called the “Chinese Puzzle” starring Audrey Tautou and Cecile De France.
We caught up with Reilly following a recent screening of “Flight” in New York where she talked about working with Washington and her acting process.
What did you learn from Denzel Washington about his acting process?
Kelly Reilly: The thing to learn about Denzel is he doesn’t to talk about what he does. He just inhabits it. I think there’s room in America for people to have a process, to have their craft, to own it. In England it’s somewhat deemed as indulgent and there’s something about it that they’re kind of embarrassed about, almost. I enjoyed working with someone who is so full in that and it reminded me of how I can be more like that.
Where do you feel most at home, the stage, television or film?
I have to say (the) stage if I have to choose because that’s where my background is…it’s my home almost. But acting, it’s all the same. I’ve (gotten) to realize that acting is acting regardless of what medium. When you’re working with good people and good material and a great part , it can be on stage, it can be on film, it doesn’t really matter .
Are there certain types of heroines you like to play?
I just keep an open mind. It’s all about good writing. If there’s a character that’s well written, it doesn’t have to be the most likeable character. It can be a very flawed character. It can be a very strong character, it can be a very weak character as long as the writing is interesting.
What is your acting process like?
Every role is different. Some things demand much more of you than others and (Nicole) does. But for me, it’s a lot more about having it in my heart and in my head and just staying with me and constantly just thinking about it and just being with it .