Who do you play in the new movie adaptation of Murder On The Orient Express?
I like to reference myself as playing Johnny Depp’s bitch. I am at his beck and call, and that comes with a lot of stress and a little bit of despair for my character because, as you will learn in the film, Johnny Depp’s character is not necessarily the finest gentleman on the train. But what is so wonderful about this film is that nothing is what it appears to be.
Were you Johnny Depp’s bitch in real life too?
No, only because you can’t get close to Johnny Depp. Johnny has guards holding Uzis outside his trailer. I’m kidding! It’s just the opposite. Johnny is so unbelievably kind and when he got to the set we developed a real bond over watching funny clips. That became our connective tissue. Johnny is an avid reader, he reads more books than anyone I have ever met, but he also has this love for really goofy YouTube videos of people falling on their faces.
Murder On The Orient Express has an insanely starry cast: Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Penélope Cruz. What was it like having that many big stars in such a small space?
When you first get there you are concerned about how all those big personalities are going to mesh but it was a love fest. Every day when we were done shooting we would all go and get drinks or something. There was this incredible game Penélope Cruz introduced us to called Werewolf, where you all sit around as a group and two people are, without knowing it, werewolves — and you have to determine who they are. Penélope and Javier [Bardem, her husband] have been playing this game for years. We played it the whole time.
Who was the joker and who was the ‘mum’ of the cast?
Well, I think you are speaking to the one everyone would call the joker, or rather, the idiot. I did get yelled at quite a few times for being sillier than I needed to be. The matriarch of the set was definitely Dame Judi Dench. We all vied for her attention.
What was the best and worst part of your period costume?
I quite liked my costume, aside from a scene where I had to wear a balaclava and it made me look like a little old Russian woman. The moustache was also terrific when I was wearing period clothes. But when I put myself in modern attire I suddenly looked like the creepiest pervert on Earth. I mean, my own children didn’t want to talk to me. I kept counting down the days until I could shave it off.
Which of the cast was the most secretive?
I don’t trust that Daisy Ridley one as far as I can throw her. She is hiding so many things about Star Wars! She knows how to keep a secret like no one else.
In England there’s almost nothing so Christmassy as a good old-fashioned murder mystery. Is it the same in the US?
No, we don’t have that in America! People don’t say: ‘Oh, you know what reminds me of the holiday season? Homicide! I love a good homicide followed by a little eggnog.’
What’s your favourite Christmas movie?
I really love National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation because it reminds me of my dysfunctional family.
Were you a peculiar child?
I was definitely trouble to my parents. When I was about five, my mom was called into school for a meeting with my teachers. The kindergarten teacher looked at my mom and she said: ‘We have a problem.’ My mom goes: ‘Oh my God, what’s going on? What is it?’ The teacher says: ‘Your son comes into the room, winks at me, and says, “Hiya, Toots!”’ I’ve always loved performing and I love to make people laugh and smile. To bring out the joy.
What happens to Olaf in Frozen 2?
I don’t want to spoil anything but Olaf only lasts for the first act. I’m kidding. Disney has kept all of it from me. They’re gonna give me pieces of dialogue out of context because I have a big mouth.
Do you ever wear Olaf-themed socks?
Never. I have been given a lot of Olaf clothing, including socks, and there is a nice little drawer they all go into to spend the rest of their lives.
Murder On The Orient Express is in cinemas from tomorrow