On the heels of her turn in Ron Howard‘s Rush, Natalie Dormer is showing the silver screen another side of the femme fatale role in Ridley Scott’s new thriller The Counselor, out October 25. The actress known for her characters on hit TV shows like The Tudors, Elementary and Game of Thrones is making major Hollywood moves, and in The Counselor, side-by-side with a cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz, Dormer took the opportunity to learn from the heavyweights.
“When you get on set with a high-caliber actor, you just shut up and you pay attention in between takes. To work with Cameron Diaz in this terrifying departure for her, I was getting a buzz just sitting across the table from her,” says Dormer. “She’s challenging people’s perceptions of her. I really admire that.”
On her own turf playing Margaery, Dormer’s sharp, surprisingly modern character on Game of Thrones, the fourth season of which is nearly finished filming, Dormer says there’s a secret to playing such a cunning character. “I follow the lead by Dan [D.B. Weiss] and David [Benioff], the show’s creators, and try to play her sincere at every moment. She’s such a savvy player, but the effort to me is keeping it simple: The less decorative I make my performance, the more intriguing, interesting Margaery becomes.”
Most recently, Dormer’s been cast as Cressida in the final two installments of The Hunger Games franchise, though she falls under the class of fans of the movie—before reading the trilogy. “I haven’t read the books,” she says. “I read Mockingjay, and we started shooting (in Atlanta). I saw the first one and I am excited for Catching Fire next month. With the remaining time we had left before her screening of The Counselor, we submitted Dormer to our DuJour Questionnaire.
If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, who would it be?
I’m obsessed with the New York-born war correspondent Lee Miller. She’s one of my icons. She was in Europe during the liberation after the Nazis. She was there with all the men and the Yankees, sending photographs back to Vogue and Vanity Fair. She’s an incredible woman.
What’s your favorite hour of day?
I really like 5 to 6 p.m. Early evening. I’m always a stage actor at heart—I like going to work at 5 with the whole evening ahead of you.
Did you break a sweat today?
Yes I did. I was at the hotel gym this morning.
What was the best conversation you had today?
Talking about our most-hated nicknames with you (Writer’s note: don’t call her “Nats”)
If you wore a uniform every day, what would it be?
My awesome Mockingjay uniform and combat gear.
I didn’t want to, but today I had to…
Hang up the phone—I’m late for my screening!
Watch Natalie Dormer in The Counselor, out in theaters October 25.