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" As a black actress, all I was offered in British film was the best friend role, whereas in TV I was offered a whole spectrum of parts. "
" I'm drawn to stories about ordinary people who get tangled up in an extraordinary event or idea or emotion. I'm not saying I don't love films about super-people or super-doctors, but my preference is for stories about how we get through this life, what it is to be human, because I'm always struggling with it myself. "
" My life is not nuts. I hardly ever watch television, I don't go out very much, so I don't really know what's going on. "
" Sometimes I really need the money, really need to go straight to work. But if I had the absolute choice - money no object, my mortgage paid off - I'd really just work once or twice a year - but wouldn't everybody! - or at least do a different job sometimes. "
" When I do things that aren't very good, I'm worse as an actor. I don't know what I pick up - but it's something not very nice. "
" The photo shoot I always feel a bit embarrassed about because I don't really know what to do with myself, but they usually don't use a bad photo, so you can't worry too much. So my main concern is that I just look a bit more like myself. "
" The repetition of the theatre means you've got the time to get deeply inside the person you're playing. "
" I don't like going for more than a year without doing theatre. I don't mind falling flat on my face so long as I feel I'm open to the possibility of something extraordinary happening. "
" My main form of exercise is my bike. I don't have a car, so I cycle everywhere. "
" I get offered loads of unusual stuff. I just don't do loads because I like staying at home a lot, and I'm a little bit lazy. I don't get that thing of going from film to film that people do. It would drive me nuts, and that level of fame is quite scary. "
" I never watch anything I do. I really would rather just not know at all how I come across. "
" I always try to think of positive things to say about the people I portray, as it's more helpful for me. "
" I do love being an actress. The other stuff, the 'fame', well - you know what? - you don't actually have to buy into it if you don't want to. "
" As a child, I certainly wanted to have hair that I could grow long and flip around. I no longer want that. My own hair that I have day to day is a fuzzy afro. And that's who I am. "
" Being a character actor, I can go on until I'm 70 or 80; I'm not bound to the way I look. "
" I find it so all-encompassing when acting that there's no room for anything else when you're in it; you're just locked into thinking about it all day, you go to sleep with it, wake up with it, and when I come back, I really need time to recover. "
" But I'll tell you what I'm really bad at: I don't concentrate on what I'm doing, so I constantly lose things. I put my purse in the fridge - I'm one of those people. "
" When I take on a role, all I tend to do is get to know the script and ask millions of questions, and keep fine tuning what I think the character is trying to say. "