'I don't think I have ever been attractive'

KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS, 47, was raised in Dorset, the eldest of five children. Aged 19, she went to Paris as an au pair and attended drama school there. She was Oscar-nominated for her role in The English Patient and has starred opposite Robert Redford



kristinin The Horse Whisperer and Harrison Ford in Random Hearts. Separated from her husband, obstetrician Francois Olivennes, Kristin has three children, George, six, Joseph, 16, and Hannah, 18.

Describe your perfect day

Walking around the streets in my quarter of Paris, buying groceries and sipping coffee in a cafe. All the children have attended a small school in the area and played in the park. There's small village life in Paris and I love it.

Do you have enough time for yourself?

I like it when I can get time just for me. I visited an astrologer recently and it was like having a massage. You're paying someone to give you complete attention and you come out feeling really positive about your life, thinking: 'Great, everything is going to work out and I will have lots of money and it is going to be fabulous. My children are going to be really happy and one of my sons is going to be President.' It's a lot of rubbish really, but it has the same effect as a beauty treatment.

What are the voices in your head telling you?

To relax. I feel I've finally become the person I wanted to be when I was 15 or 16. I've done all the trying to be this or that, and have come to the conclusion that this is it - I am who I am. It's great because I can go off and do the things I want to do without having to worry about what people think. Even three or four years ago I was still feeling obligated to be successful in a certain way. I am far less ambitious than I made myself be - I'm happier playing to 300 people a night on a stage than swanning down the red carpet at movie premieres. I've had to learn to be more accepting of myself - I've done my growing up.

Do you have any regrets?

I'm a working mother, so I'm constantly juggling my career with my family. Sometimes it's mayhem and I'm split down the middle, but all working mothers have those feelings. Everyone says you've got to work to be happy otherwise your children are miserable, but I'm not sure about that. I think we all make mistakes and even with the best parents in the world the children will still turn round at some stage and say: 'You've ruined our childhood.'

What has been your biggest challenge?

My fear of not being able to deliver. Doing The English Patient, for example, was absolutely terrifying. It was a rocky road to that part because the only person who wanted me was the director, Anthony Minghella. The film shut down and then picked up again and I was told I was not famous enough. But Anthony stuck to his guns, so when filming began I felt a huge responsibility. Until that moment I'd only ever been a character actress, nailing the smaller parts. I'd never had this big epic thing to do, which turned out to be everyone's fantasy love story. I was sick with worry.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

People have always told me I was beautiful, but beauty isn't the same as attractiveness and I don't think I have ever been attractive. I've always felt slightly out of place as a love interest in my movies because I'm not like that in real life. I'm not the kind of person who attracts lots of attention from men. I don't wear short skirts and I don't do sexy. My sister Serena is beautiful and attractive, but not me.


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