Romola Garai, 30, was born in Hong Kong. She dropped out of university to appear in the TV film The Last Of The Blonde Bombshells, and went on to star in the 2003 film I Capture The Castle and 2004’s Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. More recently, she appeared in Atonement and One Day. She was Bafta-nominated for her role in the BBC’s The Crimson Petal And The White and played Bel in The Hour. A campaigner for women’s rights, she supports the International Rescue Committee’s Wake Up campaign. She is expecting a baby with the actor Sam Hoare.
When were you happiest?
In the orange blossom-filled streets of Seville, snogging on a park bench.
What is your greatest fear?
A The Road-style apocalypse.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
S, who sees the good in everyone and hears both sides to every story.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I definitely have a temper.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
What was your most embarrassing moment?
I cheated at the Model United Nations when I was 13 and had to get up and apologise in front of the whole conference.
Property aside, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
My short film – turns out 35mm is still pretty pricy!
What makes you unhappy?
The position of women in the world.
What is your favourite smell?
A sweaty man’s skin.
What is your most unappealing habit?
Saying that people are being deliberately obtuse when they don’t agree with me.
What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
That I was selfish… but it was true.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
I’d like it to be Julia Davis, but mostly people say I look like a poor man’s Meg Ryan.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I’m very happy with the way I look.
To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
To those who had the misfortune of being in a relationship with me when I was young, crazy and selfish.
What or who is the love of your life?
S and baby.
What does love feel like?
Like when you laugh so hard that you cry.
Which living person do you most despise, and why?
I’ve worked with actors who tell everyone what to do in the scene – that makes me go pretty atomic.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“It’s because I’m a woman.”
What has been your biggest disappointment?
Realising I was never going to make it big in professional swing dance.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I’d like the fathers of the major religions to make their position on the subjugation of women clearer.
How do you relax?
With This American Life on and cooking from the Ottolenghi cookbook.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
Hey Ya, by OutKast.
Tell us a joke