Rose is the cover star of The Observer Magazine‘s May 22 issue and she looks (once again) absolutely gorgeous ! Be sure to check the whole photoshoot in the gallery and her interview just below.
Photoshoots > 2022 | The Observer Magazine [+ 6]
Magazine Scans > May 2022 | The Observer Magazine [+ 4]
Continue reading Rose Leslie for ‘The Observer Magazine’
Rose Leslie and her baby son have Covid. “Day three. It is fairly grim,” she says. You’d never guess: she’s perky and bright in a stripy T-shirt, endlessly patient and accommodating when our Zoom collapses, greeting my every trite observation with enthusiasm (“You’re so right, Emma”). It’s hard not to feel she has “trouper” stamped through her like a stick of seaside rock.
I wonder if that preternaturally cheery thoughtfulness is part of the reason Leslie accumulates plum roles in prestige TV franchises like Brownie badges. After winning a Scottish Bafta straight out of drama school for her portrayal of a naive Hebridean student in the dark comedy, New Town, she was cast in Downton Abbey as ambitious housemaid-with-notions, Gwen Dawson. In Game of Thrones – of which, inevitably, more later – she’s insolent, mocking, rabbit-skin-clad Ygritte, the wildling who captivates Jon Snow, played by Harington, her future real-life husband. She holds her own in the glitzy, ambitious legal drama The Good Fight, opposite the likes of Christine Baranski and a gleefully OTT Michael Sheen. Most recently, she played Suranne Jones’s quietly gritty colleague and love interest in 2021’s bonkers but enjoyable BBC submarine thriller, Vigil.
Now – this is what has forced her from her sickbed – she’s the titular Time Traveler’s Wife, Clare, in HBO’s new six-parter, adapted by Steven Moffat from Audrey Niffenegger’s bestseller. Theo James plays Henry, the time traveller, who revisits his life – and Clare – with chaotic consequences. Leslie is an emotionally intelligent, steadying presence, with enough backbone to be interesting, but I’m not sure it’s the most fun role of her life: as her character says, “I wait and I worry.”
I can see why she took it on, though. After all those ensemble shows, The Time Traveler’s Wife is indubitably a step up. Its success or failure turns on the two leads: does that create an extra anxiety? “There was a moment – it wasn’t at the beginning of the shoot – but it kind of dawned on both of us that if people don’t like what either of us are doing, then we’re kind of screwed,” she says. “There was that added element of pressure, but it was one I decided not to read too much into. Noticing that it was there, but also realising it wasn’t going to be serving me at all.”
I like that observation: it would have been easy to say “Ooh, yes, I wasn’t sure I was worthy.” But Leslie is 35, 12 years into her career, and had a baby just before filming started. She was eight months pregnant during the audition process, which meant “I felt like I was in a win-win situation, which is an extraordinary position to be in. I’ve never really felt that before walking into any audition. On the one hand I felt, what a fantastic character to play on top of the fact that with our new little family, what an adventure to head out to New York for six months! Then, bizarrely, on the flip side, I almost felt that I’d gain bonus time with our boy had I not managed to get the part. I was kind of relieved of a little bit of the pressure and nervousness that does get you through an audition, but can have a tendency to tip me over the edge.”