I never really think about my gender, first and foremost - until a door is closed to you. Until you can see a parallel opportunity with a man in a similar place in his career and you think, That opportunity is not open to me or my fellow actresses. That's interesting.
I did The Seagull, the Chekhov play, on Broadway, a couple of years ago, and I had done it in London, and I became completely obsessed with the character, Nina, that I played in that. She's an actress. I couldn't find a play after that, that I wanted to do, because I couldn't think of doing anything else. Every part is a disappointment, once you've done that part.
I didn't want to do a costume drama. It's a great thing to do, but I've done them, and I didn't want to do the same thing again. Of course, costume dramas can be from all different eras, but at the time, I just felt very sure that I didn't want to be boxed in as an English actress. I wanted to be an actress, rather than an English actress.
I don't think any actors love taking their clothes off on film, unless you're an exhibitionist, which I'm certainly not. Those are the scenes that you actually dread doing. But, so much more goes into this role. As an actress, it's all about reality, and I'm not a prude. I'm not someone who judges other people for taking their clothes off for roles. I'm not going to show everything, but nudity here or there doesn't faze me.
It takes two years on the stage for an actor or an actress to learn how to speak correctly and to manage his voice properly, and it takes about ten years to master the subtle art of being able to hold ones audience.