Sienna Miller Live By Night interview: Being a 'celebrity' held me back as an actor (exclusive)

Tom Butler
Senior Editor

Sienna Miller says being seen as a “celebrity” held her back early in her career and now that she’s stepped back from the limelight she’s being taken more seriously as an actor.

Just recently she’s moved on from bit parts in films like ‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’ to meaty character roles in awards contenders like ‘Foxcatcher’, ‘American Sniper’, ‘High-Rise’, and the new Ben Affleck-directed ‘Live By Night’ (in cinemas now).

So what’s changed?

“I look back on some of the work that i’ve done that I’m very proud of, performance-wise,” Miller explains to Yahoo Movies in our video above.

Sienna Miller and Ben Affleck play lovers in ‘Live By Night’, the new 1930s-set gangster epic (Credit: Warner Bros.)

“I think during those years, I was really very public in the tabloid media and I think that perception [of me] overshadowed my ability. Since that’s slowed down it’s opened up a world of filmmakers. People see me as an actor now, and not necessarily the other side of things.”

“I’ve always been a hard worker, I just think that I was seen more as ‘someone’s girlfriend’ or someone who was trendy.”

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The 35-year-old Brit shot to fame as an actress in the early noughties with a series of eye-catching performances in films like ‘Layer Cake’, ‘Factory Girl’ , and ‘Interview’ but it was her high-profile relationships – first with Jude Law, then Balthazar Getty, a married man – that kept her name in the tabloids.

Sienna Miller earned rave reviews as Edie Sedgwick in ‘Factory Girl’ starring alongside Hayden Christensen (Credit: MGM/Paramount)

Miller’s victory at the News International phone hacking scandal, which saw her being awarded £100,000 in damages from News of the World for hacking her phone, has since kept the red tops at bay and she’s never been more in demand from Hollywood.

“Having been as litigious as I have been, ” she adds, “fighting against bad media and paparazzi it just means that’s died down and I can be what I’ve always wanted to be, which is a serious actor.”

She concedes though that good work begets more good work having recently worked with acclaimed filmmakers like Bennett Miller (‘Foxcatcher’), Clint Eastwood (‘American Sniper’), Scott Cooper (‘Black Mass’), and Ben Wheatley {‘High-Rise’).

Sienna Miller and Bradley Cooper ‘American Sniper’ (Credit: Warner Bros)

“I work really hard to get in these films,” she says.

“I make tapes at home, I’m not good in an audition room, so I’ll self-tape now. Then, of course, the better the people you work with, it sort of leads… one leads to the other.”

Her next film ‘The Lost City of Z’ is already winning rave reviews, and her impressive Irish accent as gangster’s moll Emma Gould in ‘Live By Night’ proves there’s still a lot more to come from Sienna Miller.

‘Live By Night’ is in cinemas now. Watch a trailer below.


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