Actor Emily Beecham was born in Wythenshawe, Manchester, in 1984. She won the award for best actress at the London independent film festival for The Calling in 2009 and then at Cannes in 2019 for her role alongside Ben Whishaw in Little Joe. On TV, she starred opposite Lily James in the BBC adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love last year. Her next show is 1899, a supernatural thriller about immigrants bound for New York at the turn of the 20th century, on Netflix from 11 November.
Morito, Hackney, London
Even a jaded palate such as mine recognises that the food here is insanely good. You always have to book because it’s so busy. They make sensational tapas – my favourites are the crispy aubergine with date molasses and the fried chickpeas and tahini salad.I’ve recently noticed that a lot of my favourite places to eat have shut down, so I’m going to make sure I support this great local business.
Just listen to this indie rock band – that’s all I need to say! They are great performers live and are on tour in the UK from November. Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, who founded the band, used to work in costume design and their videos are also very creative. I particularly like the songs Ur Mum (it’s got a very satisfying scream in it) and Chaise Longue. The line “Is your mother worried? Would you like me to assign someone to worry your mother?” will speak to your inner teenage rebellion.
Close-Up Film Centre, Shoreditch, London
Featuring a screening room, a tiny bar, a library of rare and classic films and an archive of books and journals about cinema, this is a place for film-lovers to go and appreciate movies. They put on fantastic programmes and seasons that introduce you to interesting titles you’ve never heard of. I first saw the John Cassavetes film Opening Night with Gena Rowlands there. It’s such a great, intimate venue to watch a film like that.
The Banshees of Inisherin
This is the best thing I saw at London film festival. It’s writer/director Martin McDonagh’s latest, and it’s a funny, nuanced and dark story about the end of the lifelong friendship between two men in a small Irish community. The pair are played by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. Barry Keoghan plays a local lad in it and is bloody brilliant; and I’ve been a fan of Kerry Condon – who plays Farrell’s sister – since I saw her on stage in 2005.
Dead Eyes: Band of Others
This podcast by actor/comedian Connor Ratliff is strangely life-affirming. In this episode, actors including Zach Braff, Adam Scott and David Krumholtz talk about auditioning for the 2001 TV series Band of Brothers and how not getting a part changed their lives. That is the magic and the challenge of being an actor. It’s very nomadic and in a meeting your life can take a dramatic turn in a matter of minutes. Obviously this is very relatable for me as an actor, but they’re also very good at talking about humiliation in general and being able to laugh at life.
The Story of Art Without Men by Katy Hessel
I can’t wait to get stuck into this new book. It features more than 300 works of art by female artists, all the way from 1500 to present day, who were elbowed out of the scene. There’s a painting featured from 1559 by Italian painter Sofonisba Anguissola called Bernardino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguissola. At first it looks like a portrait of her male teacher painting her portrait but, remove the top layer of paint, as was done in 1996, and you discover she originally painted her hand meeting his and that she was painting him. It’s juicy stuff looking into the secret thoughts of women expressing their art.