Oona Chaplin is no stranger to cult hits. Playing prissy, spoilt Marnie in acclaimed BBC drama The Hour and Robb Stark’s love interest Talisa in the criminally addictive Game Of Thrones, Chaplin is one British actress whose star is on the rise. As The Hour gets into its swing with its boozed-up tale of Soho vice BBC personalities gone wild, we chat to her about famous grandfathers (yes, she’s related to that certain Charlie Chaplin) and Vincent Cassel crushes.
How did the character Talisa compare to your role as Hector’s wife Marnie in The Hour?
Oh it’s wonderfully different!. I mean in ‘Game of Thrones’ she’s sort of really strong and calm, and wise. Which I think she does have in common with Marnie, but I mean let’s face it Marnie would never get her hands dirty, and Talisa is constantly like chopping a tree off and running around in mud.
What would you say pulled you towards acting?
I’ve grown up watching films and being on set, which was a great privilege in terms of it allowed me to travel the world. Seeing the process became quite familiar to me, all though in the beginning I really didn’t want to be an actress. I wanted to be an economist. I caught the acting bug when I was 15, but when I was accepted into RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts), I just said well fate has spoken, because I only applied to one drama school, and five universities.
Do people have high expectations of you, because you are a Chaplin?
Well I should only have high expectations, hahaha! It’s a name that I sort of strive to carry with pride, and honour. I’m very proud of my family; it’s an incredible reminder of what one can do with one life, the ability to making films beyond entertainment and touching so many people. It’s a great inspiration to have, so yeah I mean I really enjoy it, and sometimes I wake up and I can’t quite believe it!
What actor or actress if they entered the room unexpectedly is most likely to make you faint because you’re a massive fan?
If Vincent Cassel walked in I would probably faint, yes, or hysterically run and jump on him. Either one I don’t know what would happen, but he’s definitely someone… or Will Smith, yes, bring it, anytime.
Do you see yourself directing or writing scripts in the future?
Definitely. I’ve already been doing that, I’m proud of the short film I’m about to shoot now with a few friends that I’m co- writing and producing on. I think it’s got the potential to be really good and I might be sending it out to festivals. I’ll definitely be going down the directing and script route. I’m a qualified editor and I’ve been to probably too many screenwriting master classes. I definitely have a lot of stories in my head.
When I was in boarding school, I used to be a compulsive liar. It’s quite funny actually, a story used to come into my head and I’d just pretend that it happened to me, but it was completely made up! So I decided instead of lying to people I’d write them down. I’ve since come clean to all of my friends, which was sort of embarrassing but hilarious. Because I’m a terrible liar, everyone knew I was lying at the time.
The third episode of The Hour airs tonight on BBC2.
Words: Tracy Kiryango