With her jagged smile and pointed nose, this 27-year-old British actress has a face you don’t forget. In the past decade, she has played every kind of role imaginable. She has been in horror films (28 Weeks Later), a teen romcom with Zac Efron (That Awkward Moment); comedy (She’s Funny That Way), experimental art-house drama (Terrence Malick’s Knight Of Cups), brutal indie fare (Green Room), Irvine Welsh adaptations, biopics and even a car racing movie (Need For Speed). She can do rebels, ingénues, screwball characters or tragic heroines.
At Cannes, Poots was basking in the sun, showing no sign of tiredness. Given that she only arrived at the festival a few hours before and was due to head back to London not long after the interview ended, her relaxed demeanour came as a surprise. The British actress is currently appearing on stage in London in a production of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? opposite Imelda Staunton, Conleth Hill and Luke Treadaway. She was on stage at the Harold Pinter Theatre late on Saturday night, flew out to Nice in the morning, and would be back in London for the next performance on Monday.
“It’s a long play, nearly three hours. We finished it last night around 11pm. Tomorrow, we start again,” she says. Not that she’s complaining. “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? is a masterpiece and each night listening to it, it’s such a rich experience. You take so much from that writing, that material, and you can continue to get deeper and deeper into it the more you do it,” she says, sounding more like a student of the play than one of its stars.