Samantha Morton is one of the most extraordinary stars working today: uncompromising, inspired and inspiring. Her career has hopped from Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller Minority Report to Lynne Ramsay’s extraordinary second feature Movern Callar and many popular TV shows, such as The Walking Dead.
This season she’s in two big awards contenders: The Whale, Darren Aronofsky’s drama starring Brendan Fraser as a morbidly obese teacher, and She Said, about the New York Times investigation of Harvey Weinstein’s sex crimes. (Morton was one of the few who always called out and stood up to his bullying.)
Morton was born in Nottingham in 1977 and spent nine years in and out of foster care and children’s homes – a background she drew on for her Bafta-winning directorial debut, The Unloved (2009). She began acting young, with roles on shows such as Soldier Soldier, Cracker, and Band of Gold, before starring in acclaimed TV movies of Emma and Jane Eyre.
Her first big film role was in 1997’s Under the Skin, about a young woman coping with the death of her mother, for which she was nominated for a British independent film award; on 4 December she’s being honoured by the British Independent Film Awards with its Richard Harris award for achievement in cinema.
More work soon followed with Woody Allen (Sweet and Lowdown), Steven Spielberg (Minority Report), Ramsay, Jim Sheridan (In America) and her first collaboration with Michael Winterbottom, on refugee drama Code 46.
She played opposite Daniel Craig in Roger Michell’s Enduring Love and Johnny Depp in The Libertine, and then, as Moors murderer Myra Hindley, opposite Jim Broadbent in TV film Longford.
Roles as Deborah Curtis in Control, Mary, Queen of Scots in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and as a woman between the ages of 30 and 64 in Charlie Kaufman’s postmodern masterpiece Synecdoche, New York took her to the end of the first decade of the century.
Morton took a break to focus on bringing up her three children before returning for projects such as David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, Liv Ullmann’s Miss Julie, and 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
As well as The Walking Dead, recent television work has included Rillington Place, Cider With Rosie, Harlots and playing Catherine de’ Medici in The Serpent Queen.
Morton has been an outspoken activist and campaigner across causes such as the foster care system, the sexual exploitation of children, the recruitment of social workers and the conflict in Gaza.
We need your questions for Samantha Morton! Post them below by 12 noon GMT on Monday 28 November. We’ll ask her the best ones and her responses will be published online on 1 December and in Film & Music on 2 December.