“I do miss the pub, and the weather being sh*t”: Rose Leslie takes on America

STYLIST – Rose Leslie is distracted. Outside her window in Brooklyn a passer-by has fallen over on a patch of black ice and she can’t stop giggling. Storm Stella recently hit and New York has only just re-emerged from the state of emergency called by its mayor. It’s fine to laugh, she tells me, because the passer-by has got up and walked off, but she’s now positioned herself away from the window in case any more slapstick comedy strikes.

Although she’s a big fan of comedy, the Scottish-born actress made her name playing serious-minded characters who are British to the bone. She first came to attention in 2010 as Gwen, a housemaid who betters herself and waved goodbye to Downton Abbey before the end of the first series. Next, in that other globally successful television juggernaut Game Of Thrones, she nailed the Yorkshire accent playing the fiery wildling Ygritte, Jon Snow’s enemy-turned-lover. There has also been a brief spell as a policewoman alongside Idris Elba in Luther.

Right now, Leslie is feeling a bit nostalgic for ol’ Blighty, which may explain why she’s binge-watching The Replacement and This Country on BBC iPlayer. “I am obsessed with This Country,” she confesses. “The script is so astute about who they are representing – it manages to find the delicate balance of being truthful without belittling.” It’s been five months since the 30-year-old left her London flat for America to play a role that is completely different to her previous work: a high-flying lawyer in modern day Chicago.

In The Good Fight – a new 10-episode spin-off from the eminently watchable The Good Wife, which finished last year after seven series – senior partner of the parent show’s law firm Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) loses her life savings in a financial scam. But, in the tenacious female fashion of the original show, she sets up shop afresh with her goddaughter Maia Rindell (played by Leslie) and Lucca Quinn (played by fellow Brit Cush Jumbo) in another distinguished Chicago legal firm. Already critically acclaimed in the US, The Good Fight does not shy away from contemporary politics, covering topics such as fake news and police brutality.

Leslie admits that the opportunity to live in New York for five months while filming the show was a perk she couldn’t refuse, but Brooklyn is a long way from her family’s 15th-century castle in Aberdeenshire where she grew up with her four siblings (a stint in a Somerset boarding school put paid to her Scottish burr) before arriving in London aged 18 to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Her background may be lofty but in conversation Leslie is anything but. She is naturally warm, engaging, laughs often (and hard) and has impeccable manners. Until someone falls over on a patch of ice, that is…

With the success of Downton Abbey and Game Of Thrones, it seems like you have the golden touch when it comes to choosing TV shows to work on. What attracted you to The Good Fight?
I was late to the party with The Good Wife but so many of my friends loved it. When I finally gave it a go, I thought the writing was fantastic and I was pulled in by the fact that [writers] Michelle and Robert King wrote so powerfully and beautifully for women. The characters are intelligent, passionate women who are struggling with climbing the prickly ladder to the top of the legal profession. It’s not an easy path but the story lines aren’t obvious. The script was completely engrossing.

It features a lot of strong women who show a sense of solidarity with one another. How significant is that element to the show?
There is definitely an aura and an atmosphere on set, which hopefully translates on screen, of solidarity among all the female lawyers within this particular firm. You don’t see perfect women who can juggle all the aspects of their lives. They are struggling with the workplace environment. Something that I greatly believe in is the fight that one should have for those who are being unjustly targeted, and I think the writers execute this brilliantly by highlighting the political climate right now in the US. I don’t necessarily believe that I should be a political commentator but I’m proud to be working on a show that feels it has a duty to hold up a mirror to the political landscape and therefore provide an element of accountability.

Was there anything that bonded you and Cush Jumbo as Brits on set?
It sounds ridiculous but honestly, from the beginning it was tea. We were asked whether we wanted water on set and both Cush and I replied, “Er, can we have some tea?” We fell into the trap of being a cliché but the first thing that bonded us was our love for tea.

What have you found challenging about working away from home?
I’ve missed my friends’ 30th birthdays and I’ve missed weddings. But please, that’s fine, this is not a violin session right now. I am working with some wonderful people, but I do miss the pub, our sh*t weather, being able to hop on the Victoria Line and cross the city. But that’s only because I’ve lived in London for about 11 years and I very much consider it home. But I have most certainly embraced New York, it’s a fabulous city.

Was growing up in a castle in the Scottish countryside as idyllic as it sounds?
My siblings and I spent most of our days rolling around in puddles, clambering through bushes and climbing trees – it was glorious. As soon as I hear a wood pigeon I’m immediately transported back there. It’s the one place on earth where I feel very settled and grounded and at peace. My parents still live there and it’s an amazing place to come home to.

In The Good Fight, your character Maia comes from a very privileged background but is desperate to prove her own worth. Is that something you’ve ever identified with?
I was never oblivious [to] the challenges that an actor would face leaving drama school. At the time I felt lucky to get into LAMDA. Then you’re going to need a huge amount of luck on your side. I loved it so much though; there was never a feeling of having to prove my worth to anyone.

Ygritte’s most famous line – “You know nothing, Jon Snow” – has now become a catchphrase. How did you become so talented at accents?
At drama school we had an hour-long accent lesson every other day for almost three years. One of the dialects I responded to most was the northern one and I ended up playing a northern lass in a touring production for five months before Game Of Thrones, which was lucky as it helped me sound relatively authentic. There are still so many I can’t do though. I long to be able to do a South African accent but I’m terrible at it and am too ashamed to attempt it in public.

If you weren’t an actor, what would be your Plan B career?
I would have pursued a career in psychology – it’s so interesting. I think this leads into why I am an actor – it’s a fascination I have always had with behaviour, body language and the reasoning behind why one reacts the way they do.

I read that Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow in Game Of Thrones, told a police officer about his character’s fate to get out of a speeding ticket. Is there anything you would spill Game Of Thrones secrets for?
Probably something horribly self-involved like getting into a Bear’s Den gig. I happened to see them when they were here a couple of months ago and they packed out the Williamsburg Music Hall. I respectfully paid for that ticket but if I couldn’t have seen them? Well, I would be tempted… But I don’t know any spoilers. I’m actually completely clueless as to what is going to happen next season.

What do you do to switch off?
I am currently in Williamsburg and there is a pottery studio about two blocks away from me, so in the evenings I’ve been taking classes to entertain myself. So far I’ve made a couple of bowls and handle-less mugs – there’s no way I could set a handle on there! I’d like to think I’m channelling Demi Moore in Ghost but I really am so bad at it. The lovely instructor does most of it for me.

Finally, what’s the first thing you’ll do when you get back to London?
Have some baked beans on toast. I was devastated when the supermarket here didn’t have Heinz ones and I don’t trust the American version. They are my ultimate home comfort. (source)

‘Thrones’ alum Rose Leslie still ‘emotional’ about dying in Jon Snow’s arms

NEW YORK POST – As the lady’s maid Gwen on “Downton Abbey,” Rose Leslie captured the spirit of an independent-minded woman, circa 1912, who saved up enough money to buy a typewriter and taught herself to type. So long, place settings and candlesticks. Hello modern world.

In 2017, Leslie fully entered the modern world in terms of her TV roles. Following her smashing success as the doomed Ygritte on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” the Scottish actress was cast as rookie lawyer Maia Rindell on the CBS All Access series “The Good Fight,” a 10-episode, post-Julianna Margulies extension of the long-running series “The Good Wife” — already renewed for a second season.

To film the series, Leslie moved from London to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and just like “Downton” and “Thrones,” immersed herself in a foreign world, this one marked by legalese and power suits. She didn’t have to take a crash course in the American court system. “So far, I haven’t really come across a word I haven’t been able to pronounce,” says Leslie, 30.

Maia gets a job working at a primarily African-American law firm under the tutelage of her parents’ friend, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski). On camera, it’s a complicated relationship. Shortly after taking Maia under her wing, Diane learns she has lost her life savings in a Ponzi scheme apparently engineered by Maia’s father (Paul Guilfoyle). Off camera, Leslie has joined the Baranski fan club. “She is the most gracious woman I’ve come across,” she says, suddenly aware of what a kiss-up she sounds like. “That’s not just me, brown-nosing.

While Baranski receives star billing, of course, Leslie has benefitted from one of the show’s best subplots: the young idealist realizing her family may be completely corrupt.

Through the arc of the 10 episodes, it’s interesting to see the eroding relationship with Maia’s father,” she says. “The momentum is really gathering speed around the Ponzi scheme and it’s crashing down around her.

The series has tackled some contemporary issues such as fake news, and plays more like a cable series with features you’d never hear or see on an ordinary CBS series (including nudity and four-letter words). Maia rarely curses, but Leslie did film some nude scenes with Helene Yorke, who plays Amy, Maia’s lawyer girlfriend. “It’s a fantastic way to see the relationship between Maia and Amy,” Leslie says. “You can observe them as two loving people. It expresses how strong they are as a unit.

With production completed, Leslie has returned to England, and to her boyfriend of four years, Kit Harington, whom she famously met on the set of “Game of Thrones” (he played Jon Snow). She seems to know she has landed the most popular (and coveted) hunk in the medium, but all she’ll say about him is “My boyfriend is a phenomenal man.

Their romance on “GoT” offered a welcome break from the series’ trademark carnage. Fans fell in love with the pair, putting together YouTube montages of their story, like any popular soap opera couple. Ygritte’s death scene, with her memorable last line, “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” was truly moving. Which raises the question: If every woman wants to die in Jon Snow’s arms, what was it actually like to do so?

This is me going back,” Leslie says. “It was very emotional. The love that she felt for Snow overrode any frustration she felt. It was very painful. Ygritte was happy to be dying in the arms of the man she loved. It was a very lovely storyline to be a part of.” (source)

The Good Fight Renewed for Season 2 !

CBS — The CBS All Access original series The Good Fight has officially been renewed for a second season, to air in early 2018.

« We’re only a few episodes into the first season and the reaction from CBS All Access subscribers and critics alike has been phenomenal, » said Marc DeBevoise, President and Chief Operating Officer, CBS Interactive. « This series and its characters are just beginning, and we can’t wait to see where Robert and Michelle King, their creative team, and the amazing cast take The Good Fight next. »

Currently in its first season, the spinoff to The Good Wife follows Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) as she and her protégée Maia Rindell (Rose Leslie) are caught in the crossfire of a financial crisis and forced out of Diane’s old firm. With nowhere else to go, they join Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) and Adrian Boseman (Delroy Lindo) at Reddick, Boseman & Kolstad, where they must work their way back up to the top. (source)

DuJour Magazine Spring 2017 Issue Scans

A new interview and pictures of Rose for DuJour Magazine have been released a while ago on their website but we know have the scans of the written article and it comes with new lovely photos from the shoot ! Be sure to check them and read a new interview of Rose in the gallery here :

Gallery Links
Magazines Scans > Spring 2017 | DuJour Magazine [+2]

Gallery Links
Photoshoots > 2017 | DuJour Magazine [+2]

Toronto Sun Interview : « Ex-‘Game of Thrones’ star Rose Leslie suits up for ‘The Good Fight’ »

TORONTO SUN   Rose Leslie was a mere wildling when she first became a fan of the American network drama The Good Wife – which recently spun off a sequel The Good Fight. The Scottish actress had begun working on her three seasons on Game of Thrones, playing Ygritte, the fire-haired wildling with a “thing” for Jon Snow. “Channel 4 in the U.K. carried The Good Wife. And I kind of picked it up with my friends in Season 4, and we watched it to the end,” says the actress, who co-stars with Christine Baranski in The Good Fight. “It was a complete escape for me,” she said in a phone interview on a break from filming in New York. “I was a fan, but I was completely oblivious that there was going to be a spinoff. So I was very ecstatic when I heard.

One of those apparently magical U.K. actors, capable of adopting a convincing American accent at will, Leslie was cast as Maia Rindell, the daughter of a disgraced Bernie Madoff-type billionaire scam artist, whose budding law career is derailed by his downfall. Among his victims: Maia’s godmother Diane Lockhart (Baranski), the Chicago law firm partner from The Good Wife, whose retirement plans are similarly scuttled by her losses (and whose reputation is in tatters because she’d convinced so many friends to invest with Rindell).

So the world we knew from The Good Wife is upside down. The first episode opens with Diane turning off the inauguration of President Trump and pouring herself a giant glass of wine. And in a news report, we hear Maia’s father described as a, “financier for the liberal elite.” For starters, that was some pretty impressive reaction to actual events. Leslie read the original pilot script, “and it started with Diane Lockhart kind of looking around at a French villa she was living in. After the president’s win they did some quick surgery. I got a few chuckles when I saw it.

As for the “liberal elite” line, “I guess that’s what he was,” she says of her TV dad (played by Paul Guilfoyle). I think (the producers) want to make sure their show is very relevant to the political climate. And we are dealing with a liberal bubble when we are talking about (Adrian) Boseman (Delroy Lindo), and the African-American law-firm that my character and Diane go to.” (At the end of the pilot, Maia and Diane are jokingly referred to as “diversity hires”). “They’re kind of signalling that there isn’t going to be just one line of political opinion in the series.

There are other ways in which The Good Fight exists in a different world than The Good Wife. Maia is in a same-sex relationship with an assistant state attorney named Amy Breslin (Helene York). Candid scenes of them at home during the turmoil, include a scene of Amy consoling Maia in the shower. “I love that it’s so candid,” Leslie says. “I love the shower scene between two women; you can see how loving they are to each other, how comfortable they are in their own skin and their own sexuality. And I like the fact that the show doesn’t make a thing out of it. It is just a simple fact that these two women are in a relationship, they support one another.

Despite being raised in a castle (her family’s 15th century ancestral seat in Aberdeenshire), Leslie needed some research in being truly “to the manor born.” She found it in the book The End of Normal: My Life as a Madoff, by Madoff’s widow Stephanie Madoff Mack. “That book was indeed a very small insight into understanding the harsh reality of a terrifying fall such as the one she and her family went through,” Leslie says. “The reality of my life is that was I was brought up in a very drafty house with holes in the roof,” she adds cheerfully. “So there’s nothing really very fairytale-esque about my upbringing. But I feel very fortunate.” (source)