Sienna Miller found scenes “cathartic” in which her character is stalked by paparazzi in Anatomy of a Scandal.
In the new Netflix drama, the Layer Cake star plays Sophie Whitehouse, an MP’s wife whose world is turned upside down when her husband James, played by Rupert Friend, is accused of rape by a colleague with whom he had an affair.
In one scene, both Miller and Friend have to make their way through a pack of photographers, something all too familiar to the actress, who was frequently followed by paparazzi in the 2000s due to her… out-of-relationship with Jude Law.
“Rupert experienced that too, so those scenes weren’t pleasant for any of us, but it was weirdly interesting to step back and… there’s something cathartic, I suppose, about spending time in an ugly space that it’s familiar. And maybe claim it?” she told British magazine Elle. “I don’t know what his psychology is. But there is something where maybe you can replace one memory with something else.”
The 40-year-old noted that while the show explores “familiar ground,” the way her character deals with the fallout from the scandal is the “absolute antithesis” of her manner.
“So, in kind of a twisted tourist sense, I just wanted to see what it would be like to react differently. I know that sounds weird, because you’d think it would be deeply unpleasant to sit in that space,” she admitted.
Miller and Law’s engagement was rocked by scandal in 2005, when he had a highly publicized affair with his children’s nanny. They separated permanently in 2011.
Anatomy of a Scandal, also starring Michelle Dockery and Naomi Scott, is now streaming on Netflix.