IF you’ve ever wondered what motivates Thandie Newton, it’s not money, fame or glory. It’s her mum!
Last week she won the outstanding supporting actress award at the Emmys for her role as Maeve in Westworld.
She gave an emotional speech, and afterwards I got the chance to sit down with Thandie for a quick chat.
And she’s got no doubt why she does it.
“It makes my mum really, really happy, so it makes a difference in my life!” Thandie explained to me.
“It’s not just about me, it’s about everyone who worked with me on the show feels a sense of pride and that it’s been worthwhile. Hopefully they feel that way anyway but things like this give people such a boost.
“A nomination or a win for one is a nomination or win for all.
“It’s really about the show you’ve come from. I would be nothing without the hair, make-up, props, camera – everything!”
It may be the latest trophy for Thandie, but I asked her to cast her mind back to the first award she won – and it was really rather sweet!
“It was from the local fancy shop in Penzance Corner where I grew up – I was five and the kids were asked to draw a picture to do with Christmas,” she explained.
“And the prize was this cuddly toy mouse in a dress. It was in the shop window and I loved it.
“I drew the picture and I won! And that mouse became my bedtime soft toy which I had from the age of five until I was 20 – until I had my first boyfriend.
“And now my daughter who is 18 can’t sleep without it. That soft toy has been re-stuffed twice. That was my first award!”
Thandie has starred in Mission Impossible 2 and multi-award winners like Crash, but she loves playing Maeve more than any of her other roles.
“She’s the best character I’ve ever played,” explained Thandie. “I get to play her for ten episodes and with Westworld each episode is like a film.
“It’s so involving and gratifying to play the story and character out over so many different contexts. I’ve loved her, and the sense of empowerment.
“I’ve had such a good reaction from woman and men about her, she represents freedom and a fight for freedom, and an uncompromising fight for freedom.
“And in our current world I think we’re all aware of the need for truth and freedom.”