— Lorraine on ITV (@ITVLorraine) February 6, 2018
— Radio DIVA (@RadioDIVA104_4) January 24, 2018
— Heather Peace (@heatherpeace) January 23, 2018
— Jonathan Phang (@Jonathan_Phang) January 23, 2018
Actors Jemma Redgrave and Ben Forster will feature in a new series of in-conversation evenings launched by West End restaurant J Sheekey.
The series of ticketed dinner events – called Sheekey Secrets – will include theatre and film actors, and will run from January to October.
Actor and dancer Leslie Caron will open the programme on January 29.
Forster’s event will take place on February 19, and Redgrave will appear in-conversation on March 12.
These first three events will be hosted by journalist and writer, Tim Wapshott, with future guests to be announced.
Gallifrey One has confirmed JEMMA REDGRAVE (Kate Stewart) to appear at our upcoming February convention, in place of Noel Clarke (who has had to withdraw due to his filming schedule). Full details & info at the website. https://t.co/K06c87pR1R #gally1
— Gallifrey One (@gallifreyone) January 13, 2018
Happy New Year! Nick and Benji present this special New Year's Day podcast. Special archive guests: Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) and Derek Jacobi (the War Master). Brand new special guest: Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart in Doctor Who). https://t.co/Zq8JYje9d7 pic.twitter.com/wtUW5fNBqG
— Big Finish (@bigfinish) January 1, 2018
Daily Mail (London)
October 11, 1993, Monday
SEX AND FAME FOR THE QUIET ONE
BYLINE: Lester Middlehurst
IF THERE could ever be such a sub-species amid theatre’s most controversial family group, then Jemma Redgrave would be marked down as the Quiet One.
She has somehow managed to avoid all the lurid headlines which attach themselves to the rest of the dynasty like clingfilm.
While her father Corin and her aunt Vanessa suppressed their talent in favour of Marxist rantings, the Quiet One kept her political opinions to herself and established herself as one of Britain’s most gifted young actresses.
While cousin Natasha Richardson was making news by cavorting with her leading man Liam Neeson, during her marriage to impresario Robert Fox, the Quiet One married a barrister, an eminently non-showbusiness figure, and has become happily pregnant.
And while her other cousin, Joely, was being denounced far and wide for the graphic and lingering nature of her sex scenes in the televised version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the Quiet One was winning acclaim for her role as Anthony Hopkins’s daughter in the rather more bucolic Howards End.
But once a Redgrave, always a Redgrave. Next month, it would seem, the soubriquet of Quiet One will be lifted from Jemma’s shoulders for ever. She is about to star in what is perhaps the sexiest series ever to appear on British television.
In her first scene during BBC2’s adaptation of The Buddha Of Suburbia, Hanif Kureishi’s subversive novel of a young Anglo-Indian man’s voyage through sex, drugs and politics in the Seventies, Jemma is seen doing the ironing naked.
From then on, there are very few areas of the Redgrave form which are not featured. The four-part series, is certainly one of the most sexually explicit I have ever seen.
EVEN Kureishi was worried when the BBC bid for the rights to the book, which won the Whitbread Prize for a first novel. He said at the time: ‘I don’t think they can re-create all the book’s sex on television because it is so explicit.’ Well, the BBC has remained so faithful to the original that the American networks have refused to buy the series.
Given that her scenes make cousin Joely’s romps with Sean Bean in Lady Chatterley appear rather prim, how does 28-year-old Jemma feel about the prospect of becoming the most talked-about Redgrave of them all?
‘Do you think it’s explicit?’ she asks, wide-eyed. ‘I suppose it will provoke a reaction. I hadn’t really thought about it. I just think that there have been explicit things on telly for a very long time, but each time it happens it seems to provoke a new reaction.
‘I suppose it sounds cliched, but when I had to do those scenes I so loved the part that I thought they went hand-in-hand with the character. You always have thoughts about exposing yourself to that extent and the reactions it may provoke, but when it came down to it I didn’t have any real qualms.’
Jemma stars as Eleanor, a neurotic young actress who takes hero Karim (Narveen Andrews) on a sexual voyage from adolescence to adulthood.
She says she discussed the scenes with her husband before taking on the role and he gave his blessing. ‘If he had objected we would have had to talk it through, but he read the scripts, thought they were terrific and said I had to do it.
‘He hasn’t seen it yet and I doubt very much that we’ll watch it together. He can watch it if he wants to when it’s on television, but I shall probably go out and get quietly drunk. I’ll video it and watch it later with the curtains closed.’
Jemma has already seen the series at a private screening with other cast and crew members. She says she is proud of it. ‘I thought that if I was able to sit and watch it with other people then I would be happy for it to go out on television.
‘The hardest part was walking out of the darkened room when the screening was over, but I didn’t feel embarrassed. I thought the director, Roger Michell, had done it very well.
‘I met Roger twice before I accepted the part and I trusted him. You do feel terribly vulnerable when you take on something like this, but Roger made us feel quite safe.
THERE was no salaciousness of any sort. Narveen and I had two weeks of rehearsals before we started the first block of filming, and another two weeks before the second block, so we were able to talk about the scenes and establish a friendship.
‘It wasn’t like turning up on the set for the first day and not knowing who you were going to be working with.
‘If I’d thought at the time about the millions of people who might be watching I would have stayed under the covers and never come out. I would have been frozen to the spot, so I didn’t allow that thought to even enter my mind.
‘I know actresses who say they could never do nude scenes, but I don’t have a hang-up about it. I don’t think it’s because I’m an exhibitionist, it’s just that I don’t lose sleep over what people might think about my body. I’m not a supermodel, but I’m not unhappy with my body either.
‘Doing sex scenes is not the easiest thing in the world, but it’s part of the job. It’s acting. And whatever confidence it takes to get up and do any performance, or create any role, is the same confidence it takes to do those scenes. If you view them as another piece of acting it’s not so hard.
‘I don’t mind people switching on to be titillated, as long as they switch on. They can decide afterwards whether they thought it was a good piece of telly or not.
BUT IT worries me if they think it’s filth, because I don’t think there is anything filthy about it. I don’t worry about people watching for the wrong reasons. I don’t know that there is such a thing as an audience you don’t want.
‘What you want is for the maximum amount of people to switch on and then have the debate after they’ve watched it. There will be people who will say this sort of thing shouldn’t be on television, and that’s their prerogative.
‘But I expect it will carry all sorts of warnings beforehand. There are three other channels to watch.
‘I know people are going to dwell on the series’ sexual content but there is a lot more to it than just the sex. It is representative of the times we are living in. It is being screened when we are still living in a very worrying time of increasing racist and fascist attacks.
‘That’s why I think a series like this has its place on television alongside all the period dramas and other programmes.’ Perhaps it is a sign of the theatrical bohemianism she has inherited from her fellow Redgraves that enables Jemma to view her most controversial role with almost child-like confidence.
It will be interesting to see how the Quiet One reacts to the furore which is about to engulf her.
September 28, 2004
DAY & NIGHT; JEMMA IS STAGE STUCK
BYLINE: KATHRYN SPENCER, JULIE CARPENTER & KATE BOHDANOWICZ
ANY pairing of the Redgrave acting dynasty is guaranteed to pull in the punters, so its good news that Jemma Redgrave has a burning ambition to appear on stage with her father, eminent thesp Corin.
Corin, only brother of Vanessa and Lynn, can’t fit it into his packed schedule. “I’d love to do pretty well everything with him but he’s so booked up, ” says flamehaired Jemma, 38, who starred with Vanessa and Lynn in 1990 in Chekhov’s The Three Sisters and played the 19th-century physician Dr Bramwell. “He’s playing King Lear at the moment but I couldn’t go on stage and see his character get his eyes gouged out.”
There could, she says, be a fourth generation of actors on the way in the shape of her sons Gabriel, 10, and Alfie, four, by husband, QC Tim Owen. “Gabriel wants to be a comedy actor and Alfie is the most dramatic person I know.”
January 23, 2005
ROLE IS FAMILY AF FAIR FOR JEMMA; REVIEW
BYLINE: PAULA KERR
In her latest TV drama, Jemma Redgrave plays a struggling single parent. Here, she talks to PAULA KERR about her famous relatives and rather complicated family history
WHEN IT came to playing a single mum in the new ITV thriller, Like Father Like Son, Jemma Redgrave had only to look to her own childhood for reference.
In the dark two-part drama, co-starring Robson Green, she plays the struggling single parent of a boy suspected of murder.
She also enters into a relationship with her son’s teacher (Green), admitting to him that her ex-husband, played chillingly by Phil Davis, is a serial killer.
Jemma was born into a distinguished acting dynasty.
Her father is veteran actor Corin Redgrave, her aunts are the highly respected actresses Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave and her cousins include stunning Natasha and Joely Richardson. Corin and Jemma’s mother, the society model Deirdre Hamilton-Hill, split when Jemma was nine.
“My mum was a single mother, ” she says. “When my parents were together, I remember there were lots of rows. It caused terrible unhappiness to both of them and a certain amount of misery to me and my brother. Afterwards, though, it must have been bloody hard for mum to be on her own, ” says Jemma, who is married to QC Tim Owen, 42. They live in north London with their children Gabriel, nine, and three-year-old Alfie.
When her parents split, mother and daughter moved to Earls Court, London, while Jemma’s brother Luke, now a film director, was sent to boarding school.
Jemma’s childhood took on a Bohemian theme.”The flat was open-house to actors and musicians. Mum also had a boyfriend, who I didn’t get on with, whose friends were into all sorts of dodgy stuff and called themselves the Chelsea villains.”
When her mother, who died seven years ago, wrote her scornful memoir, To Be A Redgrave, about her failed marriage, Jemma, 37, refused to read it. “She wrote it to make money. She was always broke.
In her day, you married a man who could provide a good home.
She wasn’t fitted for a career. She was a model, though that work ended when she had children.”
Most of her family have hit the headlines at some time. Vanessa Redgrave’s ex-husband, director Tony Richardson, died of Aids while sister Lynn’s husband, John Clark, fathered a child by their daughter-in-law. Joely Richardson has split from her husband, while Natasha Richardson is married to outspoken Irish actor Liam Neeson and Jemma’s late grandad, Sir Michael Redgrave, admitted to bisexual activity.
Jemma, 38, remains staunchly loyal to them all and says she has learned to brush-off attention from the Press. She is especially defensive of her grandad. “He kept that secret for a long time. That part of his nature was illegal when he grew up, so he couldn’t reveal it, which was tragic.”
Through her teenage years, she fought the idea of becoming an actor. “I felt under a certain amount of pressure to give acting a shot. “I tried to encourage myself to have an alternative route but acting was a compulsion.”
She enrolled at drama school Lamda and went on to win parts in Howards End, with Sir Anthony Hopkins, and controversial TV drama Buddha Of Suburbia, with Brenda Blethyn, although she made her name as Eleanor Bramwell in costume drama Bramwell, seven years ago.
More recently she was in ITV’s Tom Brown’s Schooldays, as Mary Arnold, wife of education reformer Thomas Arnold, played by Stephen Fry.
She harbours an ambition to work with director Mike Leigh.
“He uses improvisation in such a way that the actors surprise each other on camera. It’s such an exciting challenge for any actor.”
Like Father Like Son, ITV1, tomorrow and Tuesday, 9pm.
The Guardian (London)
January 6, 1999
Portrait: ‘So whose daughter are you?’; She’s the Redgrave you’ve probably never heard of. But not for long. Simon Hattenstone meets Jemma, daughter of Corin, niece of Vanessa (and so on)
BYLINE: SIMON HATTENSTONE
There are certain conventions you have to respect when talking about my family, suggests Jemma Redgrave. Certain preferred words and phrases. ‘Firebrand’, for example, is a must – to describe the politics of Redgrave’s father Corin and Auntie Vanessa, both of whom were active in the Workers’ Revolutionary Party. And then there’s ‘theatrical dynasty’, of course. As in grandfather Michael and grandmother Rachel Kempson, dropping a generation to Vanessa, Lynn and Corin, dropping another generation to Natasha and Joely Richardson (Vanessa’s children) and Redgrave herself.
Jemma Redgrave is all of a black huddle. Black top, black trousers, black suedey shoes and black leathery coat, illuminated by red cheeks and red nose. She could have walked straight out of Chekhov’s cherry orchard. ‘It’s freezing in here, isn’t it?’ she says, giving herself a good cuddle. ‘I’m sorry if I don’t make much sense today. I’ve been up all night with my son. Rubbing his tummy every hour. Poor thing.’
In her new film, Redgrave plays the mother of a baby boy with the brain and speech pattern of a drug-addled yob. It’s based on an Irvine Welsh short story, one of three (from the original 22) that make up the film The Acid House. This highly stylised segment is difficult to describe – part rap video, part kitchen sink drama, part hallucinatory trip. Perhaps gritty surrealism is most apt. It’s a nice surprise to find Redgrave stewing in the contemporary mulch of a Welsh story. After all, she is an actress largely defined by the corsets of period drama, from her early stage work with Lynn and Vanessa in The Three Sisters to the Victorian doctor she played in the TV series Bramwell.
She says that Welsh takes our most ‘subliminal subconscious fears’ and stirs them into a disturbing fantasy. ‘You know, I used to have nightmares when I was pregnant. . .’ And she stops. She tells me I don’t want to know about them, really I don’t, now’s not the time for psychoanalysis. Oh go on! She laughs, and that huge, tender Redgrave mouth opens wide enough to swallow the world. ‘. . . I had these dreams that the child would come out fully formed, adult. You always have a fear, not quite a fear, but you never know what your relationship will be like with your child.’ Her laugh is loud and brutal, with something of the wicked witch in it.
Interviewers often accuse Jemma Redgrave of having a sense of humour, of letting the side down. ‘Well it’s just bollocks, this whole thing.’ What’s bollocks? ‘It’s bollocks. This ridiculous notion that if you’re involved in leftwing politics or you spring from a serious acting family you don’t have a sense of humour . . . It’s just not true. Look at Tony Benn – he’s incredibly cool and very funny and politically committed.’
I’ve been thinking about the Redgraves, thinking that I would not fancy following in all those footsteps. Didn’t the inevitable comparisons make her wary? ‘It was quite hard. It’s ‘So whose daughter are you?’ constantly, like the rector’s wife.’ She tried to think of other career options, unsuccessfully. And yes, naturally, she was worried she wouldn’t measure up, but it would have been crazy to deny her vocation simply because of family history.
Of the third generation, Natasha Richardson has enjoyed the greatest success. The Guardian’s theatre critic, Michael Billington, says all three have inherited the talent – that curious mix of intelligence and strangeness – but Joely and Jemma remain unproven. Earlier this year, Jemma played the messianic Salvation Army leader Major Barbara in the West End, and Billington praised her ‘clarity and purity’. He says that the Redgraves are often late developers and that Corin has only recently matured as an actor, so it’s early days yet for 33-year-old Jemma.
The major influence on Redgrave’s life seems to be her mother, Deirdre Hamilton-Hill. Redgrave’s parents split up when she was nine. Deirdre, the reckless daughter of a naval commander, wrote a book in which she claimed that Corin wanted her to be Mrs Lenin and had banned wine and French food from the house because they were bourgeois. While bringing up Redgrave and her younger brother, Luke, Deirdre opened the house up to any number of lovers, strangers and rock ‘n’ rollers. Even Redgrave described her as flaky.
Meanwhile, the wheel was turning and Redgrave was rebelling against her mother. She became known as the sensible one. ‘At 18, I thought I’d do the ultimate teenage rebellion thing and go incredibly straight. I thought I would vote Tory. I didn’t in the end. I thought that’s not rebellion, that’s just sad.’
She married a barrister (they recently got back together after splitting up for a year), had a son and apart from ironing in the nude in the TV serialisation of The Buddha Of Suburbia, led a quietly respectable actor’s life. There has often seemed something Sensible Shoes about Redgrave’s career.
She says she’s not so sure about being innately sensible; she thinks it is something imposed on her in childhood. Deirdre was so irresponsible that she had to take control. ‘There was a total lack of structure, and I longed for structure so I set about trying to create it.
‘I wasn’t trying so much to impose order as trying to show my mum that certain people were hanging around who weren’t particularly nice.’ She says the house was stuffed with visitors, some of them lovely, gentle people like Who manager Kit Lambert, others just there to exploit her mother’s trust. The trouble with Deirdre was that she found it difficult to tell the difference.
Did Redgrave make it obvious when she didn’t approve of the hangers on? ‘Yeah, I did. Mum used to call me the Attitude Squad. There were always lodgers, and one of them stole and she and her boyfriend had this awful, violent relationship, and I’d break it up sometimes.’
I tell her I wouldn’t fancy stepping into a domestic. ‘I can’t stand violence. But you can’t just stand there, can you?’ There is something open and vulnerable about Regrave, even when she’s talking up her toughness. You get the impression that however streetwise she is, she has also inherited some of her mother’s naivety – but whereas it followed Deirdre like a curse, for Redgrave it is a strength.
She genuinely believes that there would have been no option but to step in and break up the fights. Likewise, she says how could you not be interested in politics – everyone wants better schools, more jobs, social justice.
Did she miss not being mothered? ‘Yes, probably I did.’ When her mother was dying, the roles finally reverted to form and she was allowed to be a child again. ‘Every time she had bad news, she’d absorb it. It took a week and she’d say I’ll beat his, don’t worry I’m fine, and she’d take care of me. She really took emotional care of me. That extraordinary strength. It was incredible. Incredible.’ She stares into the distance as if it’s struck her for the first time.
Redgrave says she spent a lot of her childhood scared. She insisted on going to the grammar school that turned into a private school because she’d heard stories about kids being stabbed at the comprehensive. Didn’t it cause a row between her parents? ‘Yes, Dad wasn’t best pleased. But I was such a coward. I know this all sounds very contradictory. . . there I was, hard bastard telling people to fuck off, but I was quite shy.’
When she got to the school she felt inadequate because she was no longer near the top of her class. She started to comfort eat and became self-consciously plump. ‘Have you heard of the rower Steve Redgrave?’ she asks. Is he a relation? ‘Apparently he is, but I don’t know him. Anyway, he talked of the psychological advantage of being able to see the others behind you and how it’s much more difficult to come from behind. That’s how I felt at school. I struggled.’
When she went on to the stage she loved it, but discovered a new fear. Every first night she considered jumping on to a plane for Australia and not returning. Why did she act if it was so painful? ‘I think it was an escape. . . a means of expression. I wasn’t artistic. I’m still shy, still self -conscious.’ She lights a fag and gives herself another cuddle against the cold.
We talk about childhood and growing up and how you bleed for your children. She’s a very good listener, more relaxed asking questions than fielding them. Is she in a political party? No, she never has been, has never wanted to toe a single line. She’s quiet, mulling over the question of politics. ‘I do think acting can be very self-absorbed, and I find that slightly embarrassing. Sometimes it seems such an uninquiring profession.’
She tells me how her husband Tim is often in court, challenging the Home Secretary’s right to ‘raise a tarriff when the judge has already set one, like in the Bulger case, just because he has received 100,000 coupons from the Sun imploring him to. Tim does really interesting work, and often we’ve been out and nobody’s asked him a single question.’ Redgrave makes plenty of claims for the work of her husband, her brother, her cousins, her aunts, but none for herself. She says she was lucky to get a television series because it gave her a profile, and now it’s finished she’d like to do more stage work, expand her repertoire, discard the corsets.
She shows me how to work the coffee machine, apologises profusely for the cigarettes she’s smoked, apologises some more for her red nose and tiredness, thanks the PR for organising the interview, thanks me for coming, tells me not to worry that the photographer is the best part of an hour late.
I can’t help thinking that sometimes Redgrave must find it difficult with her family. They all seem so terribly confident. ‘Yes. Everybody was always quite confident of their opinions. I didn’t feel as confident or as articulate.’ You sense she gets the jitters even contemplating such words, but maybe this is what makes her so likeable. ‘I mean, I’m still quite chary of expressing opinions. . . unconfident to some extent about my own opinions. I find it quite hard, yes.’ The Acid House is on general release.