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The fact that I was 5ft 2 as a sophomore didn't help. I'm 6ft 1 now but still relate to those feelings. I didn't date in high school and didn't get my growth until college. I never got over being short.


On her religious faith and the categorizing of gay society: "Well, you know, I grew up going to church, but I was raised by my uncle who passed away with AIDS a couple of years ago. He was my mother's best friend. And my mother's cousin. He brought me to school every day. He helped me buy my prom dress. He made my clothes with my mother. He was like my nanny. He was my favorite person in the world. And you know, I never really mixed Christianity with how I felt about him. I am about faith and spirituality more so than religion. Doing right by others and not judging."


Damn them for giving me nothing and taking it away before I had it! Damn mother for her grandness and her indifference and her disdain of me, and damn daddy for the crazy, mixed-up life he led and the daughter he never gave a damn for, and damn uncle Lionel for treating me like the boarding-school bitch I am, and damn aunt Ethel who doesn't even know I'm alive, and damn me for being a silly, arrogant, affected schoolgirl! God damn us all! We deserve everything we get


"Hip-hop can be limiting and I refuse to accept limits. I've been training as an actor for six years. Nobody goes to acting school for six years. I mean, the college course is only four years! I absolutely trained. My acting coach is from the Stanislavsky school. It's real - I act."


(on acting school) For a few years at school I tried to play the roles they wanted me to play, but it became less and less interesting to ponce around the place. Even now, when I sometimes think of doing a play, I think of rehearsal rooms and people hugging and everyone talking over cups of coffee because they are nervous. It's both very touching and it makes me a little nauseous and claustrophobic. Too much talk. I don't rehearse at all in film if I can help it. In talking a character through, you define it. And if you define it, you kill it dead.


(on researching his role as Plainview in There Will Be Blood (2007)) I like to learn about things. It was just a great time trying to conceive of the impossibility of that thing. I didn't know anything about mining at the turn of the century in America. My boarding school in Kent didn't exactly teach that.


(on applying to theater school, the Bristol Old Vic) I picked just one because then it would be a sign from the gods if it was not meant to be.


Where I come from, it was a heresy to say you wanted to be in movies, leave alone American movies. We were all encouraged to believe that the classics of the theater were the fiery hoops through which you'd have to pass if you were going to have any self-esteem as a performer. It never occurred to me that that was the case. One of the great privileges of having grown up in a middle-class literary English household, but having gone to school in the front lines in Southeast London, was that I became half-street-urchin and half-good-boy at home. I knew that dichotomy was possible. England is obsessed with where you came from, and they are determined to keep you in that place, be it in a drawing room or in the gutter. The great tradition of liberalism in England is essentially a sponge that absorbs all possibility of change. America looked different to me: the idea of America as a place of infinite possibilities was defined for me through the movies. I'm glad I did the classical work that I did, but it just wasn't for me. I'm a little bit perverse, and I just hate doing the thing that's the most obvious.


(on Burt Reynolds) It's the man's tremendous wit that just keeps coming across. Listen, there is no acting style. Most people just play themselves. Spencer Tracy used to say to me after a scene, "Did I ham that one up?" If I said yes, he'd say, "Okay, let's do it again." There's that same honesty in Burt Reynolds. He's a throwback to the old school.


("What was the most diificult time of her life?"): Probably when I was at the National Ballet School of Canada, from the ages of nine to fourteen. It's the best dance school in the world, but an extremely competitive one, and there was a lot of pressure for a child. It had an extremely back-stabbing mentality, and there was a lot of favoritism. I wanted to be there because I wanted to be a dancer. I love to dance, and that was my dream. When you're in that school, it means you've beaten out two thousand people to get there, so you're not exactly gonna quit. But I did, at fourteen, because I basically had a nervous breakdown--I wouldn't have been able to function had I stayed there. It was a huge decision. But I'd just about given up on my dream of being a dancer and realized that I'd completely lost myself and had no friends and was very unhappy in my life and couldn't have continued if I'd stayed there.


"When I was in middle school, some of my so-called friends found a catalog ad I did for Superman pajamas. They made as many copies as they could and pasted them up all over school." - on his most embarrassing moment.


(on her sudden fame) "It was mad. I went into school and all of my Year were at the windows and they were all waving when I came in. And then all these camera people starting coming into the school and all the other girls were outside waving and I stayed inside and they didn't notice me. I think they had dyed my hair at that point so it was different and I had to have security people."


(On other roles): Now that I've played the snotty, bossy, posh Hermione Granger, I'd like to play some American high school girl. I want to play something totally different. I want to play every kind of character and every point of view, but I'm probably going to be playing Hermione for a while.


In spite of what Draco is like, I really like school, and I miss it a lot when I'm filming. I've a fair idea what I want to do for my GCSEs, I will definitely be doing music.


"Too bad brooms can't really fly. Now if you miss the bus you can't just go in your room and fly to school with a nimbus two thousand!"


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