Mother! It's my true role: Emily Mortimer

Category: Dear Frankie News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: June 14, 2004 | Publication: Daily Mail | Author: BAZ BAMIGBOYE,
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Emily Mortimer sits drinking dodgy bottled water at the end of the pier that juts out from the Majestic Hotel's beach-front restaurant.
It's a pebble's throw from where her latest film, Dear Frankie, opening in the UK on September 17, was screened to much acclaim on Tuesday night at the Palais des Festivals.

She gives one of her trademark throaty laughs and tells me: "When I was making it I thought I'd be lucky to get my Mum to see it and now here it is in Cannes, wrapped up in Miramax, being shown to hundreds of people."

In the engaging film, Emily plays Lizzie, a single mum constantly on the move around Glasgow with her young schoolboy son, played by Jack McElhone, and her mother (Mary Riggans).

Lizzie has a secret. Letters and postcards arrive for her son from the boy's seafaring father. But does he really send them?

Enter a stranger, played with stirring effect by Gerard Butler. Emily perfectly captures Lizzie's mixture of toughness and love.

"She's guarding a secret and, at any moment, it might be exposed, and this makes her cross most of the time," she explained.

Emily was five months pregnant by the end of filming (she and her husband, the American actor Alessandro Nivola, celebrated the birth of their son Sam last September), so she was already feeling a strong maternal bond.

She joked: "I had these enormous breasts by the time we'd completed shooting that took up most of the screen.

"But I was beginning to feel those two emotions that run totally parallel when you are a parent. There's this immediate thing of love and protectiveness, and the other side of the love is guilt and anger.

"So the circumstances of being pregnant made it possible for me to be Lizzie. I didn't think about it - it just happened."

She and her husband have been living in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles, although Sam has been staying with Emily's parents in the Chilterns while she's been in Cannes and also while she's been playing Nicole, Inspector Clouseau's bright but bumbling secretary, in the new Pink Panther movie that stars Steve Martin.

She's homesick for her mum, dad and sister.

"If someone asked me to fetch a postage stamp from England I'd go, although L.A. feels like somewhere I can think of as home - for a bit anyway,' she adds quickly.

"But my mum said to me: 'Don't think of it as your life [being in L.A.], think of it as a chapter in your life.'"

"And I thought, yes, mothers do know best."

Thanks Rosa =)