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It's quite interesting, because I suspect that possibly it's the reverse."Television is a very highly constructed, and edited, and censored, and tailored, and marketed reality. And yet for all her solemnity, she laughs a lot and gives the impression of having great reserves of enthusiasm. She tells me, with a kind of undergraduate high-mindedness, that she's not particularly interested in money.
People's attitude seems to be that if you don't have a television you're not connected to reality - somehow you're not in reality. But I just haven't felt the urge." She was once asked if she'd ever consider acting in a sitcom; her reply was "definitely and absolutely not".In the flesh, she is beautiful but looks strangely anonymous. "Fame," she says, "is a by-product which you have to deal with in a sensible way.You might walk past her in the street and not have any idea who she was. To believe that it is anything more significant than that is deeply self-deceptive."We are sitting in an empty room in the Almeida theatre in King's Cross, where she is rehearsing her part in the new David Hare adaptation of Chekhov's Platonov - she is Sofya, another naive, idealistic young woman who turns out to have hidden reserves of craziness. She's a woman who has repressed certain desires."Platonov is an early play, thought to have been written when Chekhov was still a medical student. Then I do something which I can't reveal because it's the high point of the plot."She is fascinated, she says, with 19th-century women - women during the pre-dawn of liberation, who are at last beginning to realise what they might be capable of doing.A year later, May won the Best Actress Award at Cannes for her beautifully judged performance as the daughter of white anti-apartheid activists in South Africa."I just hope I haven't messed up her life," said Figgis.