Being on set can bring out ‘worst side’, says Sanditon star Anne Reid

The actress plays Lady Denham in the TV adaptation of Jane Austen’s final and incomplete novel.

Press Association
Last updated: 15 August 2019 - 12.10am

Sanditon star Anne Reid has admitted she can be “quite difficult” to work with.

The actress, 84, said that although she is perfectly pleasant in her everyday life, people may see “the worst side” of her on set.

Discussing whether acting becomes less scary the more you do it, she said: “The young people on this set are quite surprised – they said to me at the beginning that I still have the same problems that they have.

“I can still be put off by a director or I can be thrown by something … It only needs someone to say, ‘I don’t like the way you are doing that’ or ‘Do you not think it a good idea if you do that?’ and I immediately get very thrown because I need to go away and think about it.”

“And if somebody comes in with another suggestion, it kind of puts a gate up and then that’s all I can think about – that I’ve got that gate to jump rather than relaxing and thinking about the whole scene as your head’s in the wrong place,” she added.

“I’m quite difficult to work with.

“I can get very unpleasant on the set.

“I’m not very unpleasant I don’t think in life. But that’s when you see the worst side of me.”

The Last Tango In Halifax star plays Lady Denham in Sanditon, which is a TV adaptation of Jane Austen’s final and incomplete novel.

The actress said it was a big responsibility taking on Austen’s unfinished work.

“I think there will be people who say you can’t do it and you shouldn’t have done it, but we’re in the entertainment business and I think people love period dramas don’t they?” she said.

“You just keep your fingers crossed in this business, you can never predict how something will go, ever,” Reid added.

“We had no idea Last Tango would take off. A story of two old people falling in love? I mean absolutely worked like a dream, but that’s show business, you just don’t know.

“I hope this will be a success because it’s been so lovely to do, and the men are so gorgeous – and they’re all terribly tall. Acting with tall people … I don’t like acting with small people.”

Sanditon, which also stars Theo James and Rose Williams, starts on ITV at 9pm on August 25.

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