Christina Hendricks will go Cockney or bust
If awards were given for embonpoint, Christina Hendricks would assuredly have been the biggest winner at the awards ceremony. The 36-year-old Mad Men actress, who presented a “rising star” award to Adam Deacon, tells me that she is about to transform herself for her next role in the film, Bomb.
“It will only be my voice that changes,” she says at the Disaronno after-party. “I have to play an East London girl so I have hooked up with a voice coach. You British always know when someone gets an accent wrong so I am determined to get it right.”
Meryl Streep’s best actress award at the Baftas for playing Baroness Thatcher in The Iron Lady has received a mixed reception from the Tory old guard who still revere the former prime minister.
Still, Sir James Spicer, a former vice-chairman of the Conservative Party, tells me that the actress cannot be held responsible for the “cruel” script with its emphasis on the former prime minister’s ill health in later life. “Judged simply as a performance, it deserved to be recognised,” he told me. “She undoubtedly brought the character alive.”
Two Tories who, I fancy, had other things on their mind over the weekend were Sam Gyimah and Lord Flight. The former got down on bended knee in the sludge of St James’s Park and proposed to Nicky Black, 33, who succeeded the 35-year-old East Surrey MP as president of the Oxford Union. Happily, she accepted.
Flight’s daughter Kitty, meanwhile, accepted a proposal from Giles Haughton, who works with his father, Brian, at Haughton International Fairs.
Grainger voices musical fears
Holliday Grainger is nothing if not a practical girl. The beautiful star of Mike Newell’s forthcoming film adaptation of Great Expectations says that she likes the idea of singing her heart out every night in a big West End musical.
“But that’s not quite the same thing as actually being able to do it,” she tells Mandrake at Harvey Weinstein’s Bafta after-party at Le Baron.
“I sing in my next film, Bel Ami, but I don’t have to do it for long. If you are in a musical, you have to do it night after night and I just don’t think I have the lungs for that.”
The 23-year-old actress adds that a stage role in Shakespeare — Juliet is a particular “fantasy” — would be eminently more appealing.