John meets Hayley in her theatre dressing room shortly before curtain-up to discuss her love of literature, how playing Agent Peggy Carter in the Captain America and Avengers films has helped introduce young Marvel fans to Ibsen, and why – despite claiming to have no pre-stage rituals and superstitions – she won’t say the word MacBeth in a theatre.
The role I played: Margaret Schlegel in television drama series Howards End, 2017
The role I wish I had played: Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind, 1939
The role I’m playing: Rebecca West in Rosmersholm by Henrik Ibsen, 2019
John says: For many performers, the dressing room is a private sanctuary, a place to lock out the real world and focus on the job in hand. Even though she would be on stage within a couple of hours, Hayley was so generous with her stories and her analysis of roles, many of them in period dramas. She’s a really smart actress and a very funny person. And just to be clear, that sound at the beginning - when she’s telling about having the only dressing room with an en-suite loo – is Hayley pouring me a glass of water.