Nick Constance talks to Rebecca Palmer.
As befits a daughter of two teachers, Rebecca Palmer is pure old-school.
Neither hip nor glamorous she exudes, instead, an air of eccentricity
as beguiling as it is baffling. Add to this the fact that she is beautiful
and it’s easy to see why she’s accumulated some pretty meaty
Recently she appeared in what the Sunday Times described as “the
most controversial film of the year,” Patrice Chereau’s Intimacy.
Prior to this came the role of Michette, in Quills, (Philip Kaufman) an
adaptation of the Marquis de Sade with Michael Caine and Kate Winslett.
Despite the W10 address, (Portobello Road) Rebecca has the look of someone
who’d be more at home in some tastefully dilapidated studio in the
back-streets of Paris. A place, incidentally, she’d just returned
from. “I was supporting a friend who was showing at Paris Fashion
Week, ” she explained. “We hung around Pigalle getting pissed,
shaking off the London blues.” I begin to wonder if it’s purely
coincidence how most of her films have that sublimely European feel.
Possibly the most challenging role has been that of Francine in Andrew
Kotting’s unsung gem This Filthy Earth. “A totally amazing
(laughs). “The whole experience felt as though I’d been cut
open.” Hardly surprising since Francine was abused, raped, frozen
to the bone, (two weeks of rain) and brutishly drenched in a gallon of
bull’s sperm. Ugly circumstances …whether it’s acting
When I return with two more coffees we touch on the subject of Reality
TV. “I hate it,” she says. “I don’t even have
a telly and I still hate it. On the other hand, I generally don’t
find comedians very funny, but real people can be hilarious. So, on that
score I suppose it has its moments...”
felt like I’d
been cut open.”
Prior to our meeting Rebecca sent a text warning me that she could “waffle”
and, boy, she wasn’t kidding. It soon becomes obvious, however,
that beneath the excitable waffle there’s a sharply articulate woman
I wanted to know what she thought of British Film these days…”Teaming
with spunk,” she almost shouted. “There’s so much talent
and it really pisses me off that money can’t be found for the most
amazing scripts. It’s nothing new I suppose, but the bewildering
lack of imagination (by the money-men) makes me wanna head-butt walls.”
When I ask what came first, friendship/love or work, she parries like
a politician…”I love my job and I’m incredibly loyal
to those I love.
Skilful replies aside, Palmer is a blast of honesty in an industry that
routinely eats fragile souls alive.
what next? “Well, there’s a TV drama called Hidden City coming
out, where I play a smacked-out hooker…with blond hair. There’s
a helluva lot of stuff…er, what else? Oh, yeah, there’s something
quite mad. It’s a film version of the Opera, Death of Klinghoffer
(Johh Adam, Blast Productions). It’s about the hijacking of a ship
by terrorists. There’s other stuff in the pipeline, but that’s
where it’s at…in the pipeline.”
On meeting Rebecca the first thing I asked was…”Are you you.”
Yeah,” she said, laughing at the absurdity of the question. “I’m
actually very good at being me.” If truth were told, I guess I’m
asking whether she knows who she really is. I came away thinking her motivation
was probably the fact that she does, indeed, know who she is.