Imogen Poots -“You’re going to be judged whatever you do. So you might as well do things your way, right?”
Aged 24, Imogen Poots is already an industry veteran with credits alongside Michael Douglas, Michael Fassbender, Colin Farrell and Christopher Walken, to name just a few. Yet she manages to keep it refreshingly real at the top of the acting pile
Heads were duly scratched when, aged 17, Imogen Poots was plucked from relative obscurity to star in 28 Weeks Later, the sequel to Danny Boyle’s boffo box-office smash 28 Days Later.
And then we saw her on screen. And everybody wondered how they could have made the film without her.
And then we saw her in person. And, like, wow. As soon as they unleashed Poots on to the usual corps of jaded film hacks including your correspondent – a bright, fun, terrifying articulate teen, who was so pretty you wondered how she didn’t cause car crashes and neck-craning injuries wherever she went – we all marvelled that anyone could make any movie without her.
How on earth did she get so media-savvy? On closer inspection, she is the daughter of two journalists. So she does have an inside track, right?
“You would think,” she says. “One thing I learned is that it’s a chance to have a really interesting conversation. There’s a lot of interviews now where nobody seems to talk about anything. Like it’s illegal. But it can be fun if you stay involved. Like most conversations.”
These days, at the grand old age of 24, Poots is an industry veteran who shared her first screen kiss with Michael Douglas (in the creepy-on-purpose Solitary Man), who has starred opposite Michael Fassbender, Colin Farrell, Matt Smith and Eva Green, and who waltzed off with the entire picture from under the noses of better-known thesps Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener and Christopher Walken in A Late Quartet.
“Just being around the troupe on A Late Quarter and seeing how closely they listen to each other was the greatest thing,” she says. “I know you’re thinking, Well, duh. But to actually watch it happening is extraordinary. These people are at the top of the game, working in a crazy industry. And yet they can have the greatest time even with the darkest of subject matters. I got a real kick out of it.”
She has been hailed by Variety as one of “Hollywood’s hottest young actresses”. And even though she claims to look like a Moomin, type her name into Google and the top search is “Imogen Poots Hot”.
“Gosh, that’s so exciting,” she mock-trills. “So much better than ‘Imogen Poots Kneecap’, don’t you think?”
We can go one better. James McAvoy, her co-star in the film adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Filth, recently called her “a god”.
“That’s soooo nice! Such a lovely thing to say. He is such an amazing actor. I’m sure he was being held at gunpoint.”
In common with Keira Knightley, Poots has played the younger Natalie Portman (in V for Vendetta) and, despite extensive experience in corsetry (see Miss Austen Regrets and Jane Eyre), is in no imminent danger of being pigeonholed as an ‘English Rose’. At any rate, Poots insists she likes whiskey too much to fit the bill. Last year, we watched her stumbling around as the coked-up daughter of porn baron Paul Raymond in The Look of Love, before tightening a belt with sexual intent around the neck of McAvoy’s fallen detective-sergeant character in Filth. “I have been getting around,” she says, wryly.