Interview: Lara Pulver

From the interview archive.

You’ll be appearing in a TV mini-series this year called The City and The City as Katry nia Borlú. What drew you into Katrynia? 

The mini series is based on the novel by China Melville. Katrynia doesn’t exist in the novel –  she was created specifically for the series. I think her character and her relationship with  Detective Borlu (David Morrisey) brings heart to the piece in what seems a rather cruel, cold  world. Kat is rather an enigma – a butterfly – very much in search of something. Through  her eyes we see the warmer, more vulnerable side of Borlu.  

Who in your own life would you say she is most similar to? 

Probably a combination of many of the wonderful trailblazers I have in my life. Kat risks –  and often fails, but she can’t understand why one wouldn’t risk and live life.  

For those that haven’t read the original novel, what can they expect? 

It’s a four-part fantasy drama set in two very different cities that exist side by side. Inhabi tants of each are trained to block out and deny the existence of the other. The story begins  when the central character, Detective Borlu (David Morrisey) has to under take a murder  investigation that forces him into both worlds.  

Build your dream city by finishing these sentences: 

I’d take the skyline from ___London at the river Thames from Waterloo Bridge

I’d take the scenery from ____French Polynesia. 

I’d take the nightlife from ____New York  

I’d take the people from ____Liverpool. Some of the most welcoming I’ve ever met.  

What’s the most important place on your bucket list? 

New Zealand’s North Island. 

What would you say is or should be the biggest thing your hometown of Essex is known  for? 

Maggie Smith 

Out of all the roles you’ve played, which one do you miss most and why?

Louise in Gypsy. It was a fantastic role and a gift to work with Imelda Staunton. I miss hearing  our wonderful orchestra play that score every night too. 

If you could change one thing about the film industry this year, what would your focus  be? 

I would wish for more medium budget movies to be made. I hope that the trend towards more  long form tv drama won’t prevent cinematic stories being told too.  

What are your thoughts on the #MeToo movement and is there anything that surprised  you about it as it surfaced?  

I am glad it has encouraged conversation and change. And like any periods of growth, we have  to go through it and come out the other side to have perspective and see what the gains will be.  

If you were to write a play about your own life, who do you cast as yourself and who do  you seek out to direct? Ask me again in 50 years.  

What plays or shows have you seen recently that blew you away? 

Denise Gough in People Places and Things.  

What’s a perfect Friday night look like to you? 

Loved ones around a dinner table.  

What is the most profound lesson you’ve learned from a prior relationship?

Self respect and self worth. And that everyone can teach you something.

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