Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 628

1 1 8 DECEMBER 2022 This time last year, Joely Richardson did something she’d never done before – she googled her name. And up popped hundreds of pictures of a stranger. “I just didn’t recognisemyself. I did not recognise that person. It was mostly red carpet things – and as we all know, that’s a total fantasy,” she says. “So at my grand old age,” – she’s only 57 – “I joined Instagram. Just to get something a bit more representative of me out there. I’mnot saying this is the real me,” she adds of her Insta feed, whichmixes snapshots from the life of a globetrotting actress with archive photos from the family album, and anything else that takes her fancy. “The real me is the one at home taking out the rubbish and washing up. But I just wanted something out there that was a little bit about how I see things.” Joely has clocked up a lot of miles on those red carpets over the years – this, after all, is someone whomade her film debut aged three, as an extra in her father Tony Richardson’s 1968 film The Charge of the Light Brigade. Since then, she’s appeared inmore than 50movies and TV shows, frombig screen blockbusters such as 101 Dalmatians and Event Horizon to costume drama The Tudors and a 100-episode stint onUSmedical drama Nip/Tuck. Her latest venture finds her revisiting the scene of one of her most high-profile successes, playingMrs Bolton, widowed nursemaid to the paralysed Sir Cli ord Chatterley, inNetflix’s new filmof Lady Chatterley’s Lover. It’s a return to Wragby Hall that comes 30 years after she starred as Lady C in Ken Russell’s BBC adaptation of the DHLawrence classic. “When they o eredme the role, I was like: ‘Hmm, this is interesting – do they know I’ve been part of this project before?’” smiles Joely. “I still don’t know the answer to that question, actually. But I read the script, I really liked the character and I thought: ‘Yes, I’d like to be a part of telling this story again.’” Did returning to Lawrence’s world inevitably lead her to reflect on the passing years? “There was an ironic smile, definitely,” she says. “But I think about the passage of time a lot anyway. I think, as you get older, you’remore conscious of howmuch time there is left, and the fact we never know howmuch we’ve got. So use it wisely.” The new version stars The Crown’s Emma Corrin as Constance, the lonely lady of themanor who finds comfort in the arms (and bed) of the estate gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors, played by Jack O’Connell. Did they swap notes on the role? “I was trying to keep it a borderline secret,” admits Joely. “I certainly wasn’t going tomention that I’d ever been part of it before – what’s the point? Then on day two, Emma said tome: ‘You played Lady Chatterley!’ And I was like,” – shemakes a face – “get out of this one…We didn’t compare notes, as such. It wouldn’t have been appropriate. But we did share funny stories – like the dancing in the rain scene. ‘As you get older, you’re more conscious of how much time there is left, and the fact we never knowhow muchwe’ve got. So use it wisely’