She’s always been a staple on the fashion scene, with her bohemian flair and red carpet choices earning her the accolade of a style icon. However, in the last few years, Sienna Miller has established herself as a heavy hitter in the notoriously difficult Hollywood shark tank, with roles in critically-acclaimed films American Sniper, Foxcatcher and High-Rise. This month, she’s set to light up the screen again in Ben Affleck’s period gangster flick, Live By Night. Sitting down with the gorgeous mother-of one, Sienna tells Ahlan!’s Catriona Rigney about working with Ben Affleck, how she wanted to sneak her character’s wardrobe off set, and why she’s a total dinosaur when it comes to social media…
What was it that drew you to Live By Night?
I instantly loved the script and my character. I could see it quite instantly: a ganger's moll, wrong-side-of-the-tracks, Irish, damaged, broken. There was so much to play with.
Your character, Emma Gould, has an Irish accent. Did that come naturally to you?
I had to really work at it and the Irish one is such a hard one to get right. I worked with a dialect coach and watched some old Ken Loach movies, but I also had to bear in mind that my character had been living in Boston for a while, so it wasn’t easy to navigate but I’m glad that it’s been well received. If I had my way I’d still be talking like that, in fact Ben [Affleck] and I only speak to each other in that accent. I don’t think we’ve ever spoken in a normal voice.
Is there an accent that would be nerve-wracking for you to portray?
Yes, Newcastle in the UK. And Scottish! There are so many difficult ones out there, but I love the challenge of learning them.
In Live By Night you star opposite Ben Affleck, who also directs the film too. Did you prefer Ben as a co-star or a director?
Oh, I like all versions of Ben! He’s really the most generous man, an incredible actor and director, a great writer and a brilliant father and he’s just a lovely human being! He’s also able to juggle a million different things at once, so I felt really fortunate to work with him in this way.
Live by Night is set in the roaring 1920s, so fashion plays a huge part. Did you enjoy that aspect of it?
I did! That’s a part of my job that I absolutely love. The twenties was such a gorgeous era, women were cutting their hair short, it was real rebellious post-war and our costumes were all pretty much authentic vintage pieces from that era, so that added a huge amount to my performance.
Did you get so attached to a piece that you wanted to keep it?
I wanted to keep it all! But actually there was a pair of vintage jeans from the 1920s that had suspenders on top and I <loved> them, although they were tiny so I had to squeeze myself into them. But, I would have loved to have kept them.
What’s your favourite fashion era?
I think it would be the 20s – I just totally love it.
You’re considered by many to be a style icon. Do you have a style icon?
Not really, although I love Jane Birkin (an English actress who the famous Hermes Birkin bag is named after). I also think there’s something classic and elegant about the way that French people dress and I love looking at old photography for inspiration, but no, there wouldn’t be one person that I would idolise.
You’ve acted opposite Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Channing Tatum to name a few – who’s your dream on-screen partner?
I would love to work with Daniel Day-Lewis, Mark Ryland and Judi Dench. And Meryl Streep!
What can we expect next in your career?
One day I’d love to direct and I’d love to start developing and producing things. I really enjoy doing theatre, so I’m doing a play next year on the West End – Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and also another movie next year.
You’ve recently relocated to New York from London. How have you settled in?
I love it! Obviously I miss my friends at home and the English countryside, but I love it in New York, it’s such an amazing and exciting place and my daughter (four-year-old Marlowe who she share with ex-fiancé Tom Sturridge) has started school here, so that’s exciting too.
You don’t have any social media accounts. Is that a conscious decision?
I do feel under a bit of pressure to open up an Instagram or Twitter as I think I’m a bit of a dinosaur in that regards, but a part of me just wants to resist technology. I feel like my life is compromised enough between working and motherhood without having to tell everyone what I’m doing all the time. With that being said I’m sure it would be a smart business decision to do it, I just have to find the will!
You’ve had so many stand-out film roles – do you have a favourite one?
I loved playing Edie Sedgwick in Factory Girl as she’s just so fascinating, so that was a real stand-out moment for me. But, honestly, I think I had the most fun playing this part in Live By Night.
INFO: Live By Night opens in cinemas across the UAE from Thu 2 Feb