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Celebrities PopWrapped | Celebrities

Hayley Atwell Bares All And Gives Us The Scoop On Her Dual Roles In The Pride

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PopWrapped

10/03/2013 5:15 pm
PopWrapped | Celebrities
Hayley Atwell Bares All And Gives Us The Scoop On Her Dual Roles In The Pride
Media Courtesy of BBC

Dani Strehle

Content Editor

Hayley Atwell, who plays Marvel’s Agent Peggy Carter, will be taking her talents to the stage in The Pride, which is the most recent creation in the Trafalgar Transformed season, directed by Jamie Lloyd. Hayley plays not one, but two characters in the play. Sylvia, Hayley’s character, will be a housewife from the 1950s, as well as modern woman whose best friend is a conflicted gay man. In an interview with Digital Spy, Atwell breaks down the play and paints a picture of opposing life styles and sexual subjugation. "It's not so much that a promiscuous lifestyle [is] seen in a negative light, but looking at when you're living a promiscuous lifestyle that is actually fuelled by a deeper issue that you have with yourself - of not knowing yourself," the brunette beauty mused. "That's why at the end Oliver's like, 'What do I do?' and Sylvia goes, 'You've got to stop sucking the d**k of your oppressor - of your Nazi Rolex man'. And he goes, 'I will only suck the d**ks of yoga teachers and social workers!' "You can still go round sucking the d**ks that you want, but as long as you're happy doing that and you're conscious of the choices that you make." "I think that's a far more healthy approach to talking quite openly and quite maturely about a particular gay culture that has been defined - quite reductively so - by certain drugs, nightclubs, cottaging. A certain kind of lifestyle and affectation. "Not that there's anything wrong with that, but like most subcultures it's also coming out as a direct rebellion against what society is judging in that culture. "Many gay people - not all, but many - are living a particular lifestyle, looking for something." "They're going out cottaging, going out to these dark places or having a slightly more perverse sexual life because they're in a level of exile. They're still living with a bit of guilt and shame, Atwell continued.” "It's like Sylvia says at the end - the reason that they're in the parks is because they couldn't be at home in [the] first place because they were in exile. "Even if it wasn't outright homophobia, there's something quieter and more persistent saying what you're doing is wrong. "Doing that generates a whole group of people that are feeling what they're doing is wrong, and they find darker ways to express that. The gay culture is a very complicated issue in that respect." When Atwell was questioned about the hardships of playing two different roles, she said: "I knew that was one of the challenges of the role, and that's why I wanted to take it on. "It shows range and the ability to switch from one to the other, which is a very exciting idea." Her thoughts on the woman she plays: "Modern-day Sylvia is more relaxed in her physicality, she's barefoot, she's swigging beer out of a bottle." "She swears, she's in love with someone who loves her back. She's in a very happy place in her life. She's up for a laugh - she's bolder. "Period drama Sylvia, in 1958, her physicality's a lot tighter, more constricted, her voice is quite clipped - I feel she's a lot more restrained in herself. That creates a different kind of emotion. "When she's bottling up, bottling up, bottling up, and she's repressed and living this lie, I find it sometimes hard not to cry every time that I'm playing her because it's so hard to live like that." Obviously costume changes must be taken into account when doing theater: "It takes three other people and a lot of practice. We just went over and over and over... we used a lot of Velcro!" When asked if she pressure in working on The Pride with Lloyd who has credits such as Macbeth and The Hothouse, she stated: "Certainly, but as an actor if the material is really that good you've got to be really in a bad way to mess it up! "The combination of having Jamie and Alexi, and a play that already had critical acclaim, had already won an Olivier, that had a life around the world in different productions, was the safety net. "If you just do your job and tell the story as competently as you can, people are going to respond to it anyway, because on the page it's really interesting." She also added: "There are nerves. Being an actor and doing any job is kind of exposing and it leaves you in a vulnerable place, because you're at the mercy of live audiences reacting to you every night. "Sometimes they like you and sometimes you don't know. It can be quite scary. That's why I'm very picky about the jobs I choose. "Even in the script, there's enough there for the audience to like. It takes away a little bit of pressure off me." When asked about jumping back and forth between film and theater, Atwell stated: "I always wanted to have variety, and I always wanted to do theatre as well as film. "Having come from theatre and then having done a couple of films, it didn't feel like doing theatre was anything less than that. If anything, I held it in more high esteem, I think it's harder. "It challenges your craft. It exposes you to see if you have any technical ability, whether or not you can just hide it in the editing room, which is a lot easier to do. "All the actors I've respected - in film as well - are from the theatre or do go back, or do value the theatre in some way." The Pride will run at Trafalgar Studios through November 9.
Photo courtesy of digitalspy.co.uk Photo courtesy of digitalspy.co.uk
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