Sienna Miller has a cold. “I’m disgusting, excuse me,” she says, blowing her nose in a paper towel and repressing a laugh. “That’s what a damn press conference tour looks like. “We’re sitting in a French restaurant in New York City, and despite her illness, I think she looks good in her cream sweater, baggy jeans, and Stan Smiths. “I’m going to sneeze into your microphone,” she laments. “It’s disgusting. It’s disgusting. I’m sorry. »
At least she caught a cold for a good reason: she’s in the middle of a promotional tour, not for one, but for two major projects: American Woman, a dramatic film that has earned her the most glowing praise in her life, and The Loudest Voice, Showtime’s seven-part series about Roger Ailes, the founder of Fox News, a major figure in the Republican Party and media consultant to Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, now better known following the sexual harassment scandal that led him to resign from Fox in 2016. Sienna Miller plays Elizabeth, nicknamed Beth, who for nearly 20 years was his loyal wife, alongside Russell Crowe, who will slip into the role of Roger Ailes.
“I had to watch Fox News assiduously,” explains the actress about the preparation of the series, which covers a long period: it begins before the launch of Fox News in 1996 and continues until the death of Roger Ailes in 2017. “But you know what? Even before this project was on the horizon, I was already zapping between the two, CNN and Fox New, when something happened, like the Brett Kavanaugh affair, and it’s completely understandable why this network has so much influence. They express themselves with such conviction, like “It’s our truth, and we will defend it”. If you look at Fox for twenty minutes, you end up thinking, “After all, maybe…”. Even if you know it’s nonsense”.
“I have been voiced at and I have been underpaid, underestimated and treated as a nobody. This moment was an opportunity for some WOMEN to be heard, if only by SUPPORTing all other women.
From Beth Ailes, formerly an executive at NBC News and publisher of a local newspaper, Sienna Miller says, “She didn’t want to meet me, which I can understand. It’s hard to talk about her because she’s a real person. I always feel responsible for the women I interpret, always. About Roger and Beth’s marriage, on the other hand, she says, “People are attracted to power, and I think they had a great love affair. I think he was a devoted husband and she was a devoted wife. No matter what happened in their lives, their marriage was almost intact. »
In 2015 and 2016, when the scandal came to light (Roger Ailes was accused of sexual harassment by several women, including Fox News pioneers Gretchen Carlson and Megyn Kelly), Sienna Miller followed the case closely on television. “It was kind of critical to the Me Too and Time’s Up movements,” she says. “I was lucky I never had a bad experience. Of course, as women, we are subject to sexual harassment in our lives. But that hasn’t been the case in my industry. I have been vocalized and underpaid, undervalued and treated as a nobody, but fortunately, no one has made inappropriate advances towards me. But yes, it was an opportunity for some women to be heard, if only to support all the other women. »
“For the FIRST time, I received a substantial SALARY for one of my films. I finally UNDERSTANDED what I would have felt if I had been a man”.
Since the Me Too and Time’s Up movements, Sienna Miller, like her many Hollywood sisters, has noticed larger than usual checks. “For the first time in my life, I received a substantial paycheck for one of my films,” she says. “I finally realized how I would have felt if I had been a man. I didn’t get paid as much as a man, but at least I finally got paid [more than I ever did].
At 39, Sienna Miller is a different woman, the antithesis of the woman she was at the dawn of the 2000s, when she only served as a stooge for her celebrity boyfriends. Today she lives in New York City with her six-year-old daughter Marlowe and her former partner, actor Tom Sturridge (who also lives in the Big Apple, and stars opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the Broadway play Sea Wall/A Life). “I love it,” she says of raising a child in New York City, where she moved to in 2016 after leaving London. “This city allows children to develop courage, strength and tenacity. It’s great. My daughter loves England. When we go back there, and the ground in the parks is not concrete, not metal and cement, and grass and trees, and everything is bucolic and beautiful, she asks me why we don’t live there, and she tells me that it doesn’t make sense, that it’s so beautiful. But for now, living here all together makes more sense. I think we will go back at some point. But not to London. I would need a very rural place. »
In New York, she travels around the city like a fish in water. “We go to the theater a lot, to art shows. We go to Central Park before 9 a.m. to walk the dog and let him run around without a leash. “The paparazzi’s attention has “calmed down,” she says. “I wouldn’t say I’m being harassed… they exist. It’s frustrating. They know that every morning, at a certain time, I take my child to school. Whereas before they used to stand right in front of me and yell, now they hide behind garbage cans across the street. I can ignore them, but I don’t want to be photographed without my knowledge at 8:15 in the morning, [when] I refuse to put on makeup or get dressed. I really have respect for these women who dress carefully to take their children to school. But I refuse to surrender, so I end up appearing in the Daily Mail, in front of the school, hideous and covered in cereal. »
Since it’s Sienna Miller, it’s hard not to get into the fashion topic, so I take out a blue leather clutch from the Twenty8Twelve brand, which she created with her sister Savannah, and which I bought in 2007. “Stop,” she exclaims. “Oh my God! I just love it. It’s a great bag. That zipper phase! For a while I wanted to put zippers everywhere… Wow, it brings back so many beautiful memories. “She adds nostalgically: “In my early twenties, I was much more creative, and much more daring in the way I dressed. Today I just don’t have time to play with my wardrobe like I did before I had children. Especially since I live in New York, my closet is literally as big as this table. So I don’t even know what I have. I don’t really shop anymore. I have basic pieces, like vintage Levi’s jeans and nice T-shirts. I just wear jeans and T-shirts and sweaters. I recycle ten things. »
“I’m not cool anymore,” she continues. “I was dancing in the street the other day, [my daughter and I] were waiting for the subway and I was doing this” (she sketches out a dance step) “that Marlowe used to think was really funny, and she said, ‘Shh! It was the first time, a real knife stuck in my heart. »