Minnie Driver on her mother’s death: ‘Grief is just another expression of love’

Modern Love actor says being bereaved amid the pandemic has given her greater insight on loss

Minnie Driver said she has learned that grief "is just another expression of love" after losing her mother, the model and designer Gaynor Churchward, during the pandemic.

The 51-year-old actor plays a widowed doctor in the forthcoming second series of Modern Love, the Amazon Prime show based on true stories from a New York Times column of the same name.

She told Radio Times, the British magazine, that her mother "loved" the script and that although she did not get to see her daughter appear in it, she joined her via FaceTime on the dashboard as the actor drove through the Wicklow mountains on location in Ireland.

“Grief is just another expression of love. I’ve really come to understand that, having lost my mother during the pandemic. When I got the script, my mother read it over my shoulder. She loved it; we both thought it was an interesting exploration of what it means to love somebody new when your heart is still with someone that you’ve lost,” she said.


Driver’s father, Ronnie, a financial adviser whose clients included the British royal family, died in 2009. After her mother’s death in March, Driver tweeted that she was “drowning in a grief I barely know how to navigate”.

Like her character in the show, who becomes attached to her late husband’s car, Driver said she had also developed strong bonds with cars, which she has loved “like lovers”.

“Attaching something as etheric as love to physical things is something I’ve done. We have totems, the physical realisations of love that we don’t understand – particularly with cars. I’ve loved a few cars in my life like lovers,” she said.

Driver, who shot to fame when she starred alongside Matt Damon in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting, said cars had played an important role in her childhood, when she remembers being driven from London to Cornwall in the back of a Volvo and waving at people on the A30.

Driver spent the first part of the 2020 lockdown in the US before going to England in August to film the new Cinderella, in which she stars as Queen Beatrice alongside Camila Cabello, Billy Porter and James Corden.

During that time she said her son, Henry, had asked if he could go to school in England, and enjoyed it so much that he asked to stay for the rest of the school year.

She told the Guardian in an interview published in April that he had “blossomed” going to school in London.

“He loved it here! So much so that he was like, ‘Can we stay and finish out the school year?’ I said, ‘Yeah, it’ll be brilliant, it’ll be like our sabbatical!’ Then of course it all got locked down again.” – Guardian