Our Rose is the cover star of the next issue of “Stella Magazine”, out next Sunday ! The cover and two gorgeous picture taken by Rahel Weiss have been released, be sure to check them in the gallery :
The interview has also been released by The Telegraph, enjoy :
THE TELEGRAPH – Rose Leslie has just had her first holiday in over a year, in the south of France with some girlfriends. ‘Obviously, you can see I’m sporting a brilliant tan,’ she jokes when we meet in London, holding out her pale, freckled arms. ‘They all became bronzed goddesses, while I was stuck in the shade, slowly but surely turning into a lobster.’
She’s wearing a relaxed, stylish denim jumpsuit and actually looks great, with not a hint of sunburn. But Rose, 29, is never slow to tell a story in which she looks daft, whether it’s about performing a humiliating face-plant while running over Icelandic terrain in Game of Thrones, or an inability to dance in her new film Sticky Notes, in which she plays… a professional dancer. ‘I’m British!’ she says, when I point out her self-deprecating trait. ‘What can I say?’
The middle of five children, she says in a large family this kind of humour is a survival skill. ‘There’s a huge thing of taking the piss out of yourself. If you don’t, you get gunned by your siblings.’ The irony is that as an actress, Rose has a lot to be proud of. One of her first jobs was a major role in Downton Abbey, as ambitious maid Gwen Parkes. It could have been hard to top that, but she managed it with the global phenomenon that is Game of Thrones, possibly the biggest show in TV history. Her character, the fiery, feral wildling Ygritte, first appeared in 2012 in season two, and her flirty love/hate relationship with one of the central characters, Jon Snow (played by Kit Harington), was riveting to watch – especially after Rose and Kit became a couple in real life.
In a show where sex is frequently about power and, as Rose says, ‘Getting your kit off is almost like a rite of passage for a woman within the series,’ the moment when Ygritte and Jon become lovers is surprising for being a genuinely tender scene. ‘They only had eyes for each other and there was no game play,’ Rose says. But for the actors themselves, the scene had no romance at all. She tells me it took several takes to shed her character’s furs gracefully, and then there was an awkward moment when she realised she’d forgotten to loosen her laces before the cameras rolled, so she was hopping about half-naked, trying to pull her boots off. ‘Luckily that scene wasn’t shot in Iceland,’ she laughs, ‘otherwise we’d all have been freezing!’ On set, like many couples involved in an office romance, she and Harington tried to keep their relationship secret. ‘But we failed miserably. We wouldn’t flirt in front of other people [and] we thought that nobody knew, but they did. And it doesn’t matter; it’s fine.’ They’re both private people, though, and neither wants to offer up their whole lives for scrutiny. But with so many paparazzi shots of them together, it was also pointless continuing to be coy about the relationship. In April, they finally made their official public debut as a couple at the Olivier Awards in London. ‘He was presenting an award, and it was wonderful to get ready for the red carpet together.’ […]
Rose left the show in 2014, at the end of series four, and since then she’s barely drawn breath. Last year she added to her list of top-quality TV roles by playing Idris Elba’s new sidekick in BBC1’s Luther (and made a brief return to Downton in its final series). But increasingly she’s working on the big screen. Her latest release is Morgan, an enjoyable thriller directed by Ridley Scott’s son Luke. Rose plays Amy, a spiky behavioural psychologist, part of a small group of scientists who for five years have been sequestered in a secret rural location, where they are raising a genetically modified human. A violent incident brings in a corporate-risk-assessment officer (Kate Mara) to determine whether the project should continue. It’s a high-quality cast dominated by strong female characters. ‘It is such an empowering film for women: you’ve got these badass girls kicking the s— out of each other,’ Rose says. She took her younger brother and sister to the film’s first screening, saying she values their honest feedback: ‘They’ll always say what they thought was a bit too hammy on my part!’
Rose claims her large, close-knit family is what led her to acting in the first place. ‘My elder brother and sister were both sporty and academic, and I think subconsciously I knew I couldn’t go down that avenue. And being one of five, you’ve got to perform to get Mum and Dad’s attention.’ Her parents, Sebastian and Candy, raised their children in the 15th-century Lickleyhead Castle near Aberdeen, an ancestral seat of the Leslie clan. ‘I’m hugely privileged to have been brought up where I was,’ Rose says, describing a happy childhood of tree-climbing and roaming muddy fields with her friends and siblings. When pushed, she also admits it wasn’t always quite as idyllic as it sounds. An old castle can be a creaky, cold and draughty place, especially in winter, when she says you could see your own breath, and bedtime became a frantic rush over cold flagstones to reach the hot water bottles warming her sheets. ‘But,’ she says, ‘I loved it.’
When she was 10, the family moved to a small town just outside Paris. And even the promise of a hamster couldn’t make up for the huge culture shock. ‘I didn’t speak the language in any way, shape or form. Mum and Dad sent us to a bilingual school so we had half the lessons in English and half in French. But I remember being hugely lost.’ At 13, she was sent to Millfield boarding school in Somerset, where her shifting accent got fixed into a cut-glass RP English that comes as a shock to Game of Thrones fans expecting Ygritte’s broad Lancashire tones. ‘I’ve had to become a chameleon,’ Rose explains. ‘Jumping from those three places that differ so vastly, you had to make sure you could blend in. I taught myself to listen and kind of regurgitate what I was surrounded by, and it’s been a wonderful tool to have as an actor.’
I ask how her parents felt to see her in the decidedly downstairs role of a parlour maid in Downton. They were, she laughs, quick to exploit it. ‘They said, “Well you’re really good at plumping pillows now. You can lay the fires at home. And you can go round dusting!”’ But while her mum reads Rose’s scripts and gives her detailed notes, her dad has seen little of her work. ‘He isn’t bothered at all, and I love that. He’ll ask, “Have you got a job?” He’s from the school of thought whereby to have self-worth you’ve got to keep busy. So he makes sure I’m not getting all negative.’ Rose still takes the rejection that comes with her profession hard, but she’s also prepared to turn down roles that don’t interest her. After training at the London Academy of Music and Arts, she and her female friends soon learnt that their choices were narrower than their male peers. ‘If you’re not playing the rather dull sister, then you’re the girlfriend,’ she says. ‘There’s got to be a strategy of moving past those roles for me, even if it means that I’m unemployed for months.’ Not that there’s much chance of that. She’s the female lead in her next film, Haunted, a thriller in which she plays a psychologist trying to help two traumatised children. ‘It’s nice to get my teeth into something that isn’t a stereotypical female role. This is an intelligent woman doing what she feels ought to be done.’ Filming starts in September, in Boston.
It’s the nature of their job that she and Kit have long periods apart. He’s currently working in Montreal, and they try to operate a three-week rule, hopping on a plane if they’ve spent longer than that apart. ‘We do our best to keep to it. And FaceTime is obviously a fabulous thing.’ She values his support, she says, especially when she’s away. ‘Kit has so much wisdom, and he’s brilliant at encouraging me and making sure I don’t stay down in the dumps for long.’
In the past, Rose has said she’d eventually like to train as a child psychologist. Having a plan B, she tells me, feels self-protective in an industry that can be fickle, especially to women as they get older. And the gulf between the two professions isn’t as great as it might appear. ‘I love my job now because I am fascinated by psychology, by body language and why different people respond in different ways in different scenarios. [That’s] why I love watching brilliant actors: it’s all about how they apply themselves in different situations.’
I ask what TV has excited her recently, and she says her last box-set binge was the Wall Street drama Billions. She also loved Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley, will watch Cate Blanchett in anything and, of course, she is still glued to Game of Thrones. ‘It’s fun now seeing things progress in the series along with the rest of the world. The standards are extraordinary, from the locations to the costumes, the writing, the actors, the characters… everything is superb. There’s no way I wouldn’t watch it. I love it!’ (source)