Vanessa Kirby hadn’t even met Hollywood star Tom Cruise when reports about their alleged relationship brought her personal life into the spotlight globally. The Crown actress terms the rumours “ridiculous” and says the fictional side of showbiz is strange and she prefers not to pay any heed to it.
Earlier this year, a barrage of reports claimed that Cruise wanted to marry his Mission: Impossible 6 co-star Kirby. The English actress laughed off the “silly” rumours, which surfaced in March, before shooting for the film had begun.
“I don’t get a lot of scrutiny. There were some silly made-up rumours about me marrying Tom Cruise, which were ridiculous because I hadn’t even met him at that point of time,” Kirby said.
“That element… the fictional side of (showbiz) is always strange for anybody because it is a different reality. But we try to ignore it and just get on with our life,” she added.
Kirby’s tryst with showbiz started with theatre. She then made her TV debut in 2011 with BBC’s The Hour, following up her act with the role of Estrella in the BBC adaptation of Great Expectations.
She is currently enjoying the successful run of Peter Morgan’s Netflix series The Crown, in which she stars as Princess Margaret. She has also been nominated for the British Academy Television Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the series. The second season of the show will premiere on Netflix on Friday.
The 29-year-old feels lucky to be associated with The Crown, which tells the inside story of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret’s elder sister.
“It was a real privilege to grow up with Princess Margaret. She has grown up by the end of season. I have learnt a lot from the series. It was amazing to play somebody I have seen for a long period of time… It was really amazing to draw somebody’s journey from the age of 17 to 34,” she said.
The Crown is lauded for getting the history right with the help of a team of researchers. The first season shows the romantic relationship between Margaret and Group Captain Peter Townsend and how the royal family doesn’t give her permission to marry the Royal Air Force officer, who was equerry to Elizabeth II and before that to her father, King George VI.
In season two, Margaret will find a new lover in photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, better known as Lord Snowdon. She eventually gets married to him but the marriage ends in divorce. The new season will also talk about how her life will change.
Kirby says getting into the character is challenging as “they are real people”.
“It was quite intimidating knowing that the family is still alive and that people have memory of them all. They are such public figures, so that was really challenging… Also to make sure that we understand the timeline and psychologically where they were is challenging.”
Being a part of the show has helped her empathise with the royals.
“I have more compassion and I feel that I know them more as human beings as opposed to public figures,” she added.
Kirby has also starred in Charlie Countryman, About Time, Everest, Kill Command and Me Before You.
What are her aspirations?
“I go with the flow, really. I know what directors I would love to work with, but I just want to keep learning and growing and being in an environment with great people that push me.”
At the moment, she is finishing the next installment of the Mission Impossible franchise.