Tonight Holliday Grainger hits our screens as 1930s bank robber Bonnie Parker in Lifetime’s new TV two-part mini-series Bonnie & Clyde. In an exclusive interview in this week’s Grazia she tells us, ‘I lived and breathed Bonnie for a bit. I read her diaries, her letters, and poetry. It was such an exciting role to play, and the costumes were just beautiful.'
She adds, 'It was all matching hats and belts and very try-hard in a way that isn’t fashionable now. The costume designer gave me mood boards for my trailer with all the front covers of 1920s and 1930s Vogue which was completely emulated in Bonnie’s style. It made me feel like a 1920s model.’ But it wasn’t all glamour. Manchester born Holliday, whose first acting role was at the age of six in BBC series All Quiet On The Preston Front, had to wear Spanx on a daily basis in the hot Louisiana temperatures. ‘Spanx were a necessity because the skirts were so figure hugging and they show off every little curve on your belly. They were my best friend on that job but running around forests in woolen outfits, stockings and Spanx was roasting! I even had to wear them in the lingerie scenes. There was something strangely unsexual about it. I felt like a toddler in these little shorts with Spanx underneath and shapeless bras. So unflattering.’
For the part, the 25-year-old actress had to become a pro with a gun. The real Bonnie, with Clyde (played by the very handsome Emile Hirsch) killed a number of civilians and police officers. ‘They were such good fun,’ she squeals. ‘You do feel proper bad ass, like an action hero. The guns were old without a safety catch and had half rounds in them so they could do damage which was scary sometimes.’ She ponders this for a moment. ‘There was the worry that you would get in a car with the gun still loaded, and blow someone’s foot off. Then you’re sued and hated and have self-loathing, and ruin an actor’s life…’ Holliday smiles. ‘It was one of my favourite ever jobs, but it was the first time I have ever missed being away from home. It was something about the size of things in America, and having to drive around in a car all the time. It made me miss Europe.’
In a baby voice with her lip downturned she adds, ‘I was like, “I want to walk somewhere and not get in the car and I want to order food that is a normal size portion.” It was getting to the point where I thought I would have to wear an extra pair of Spanx.’
Holliday also told us about her friend Robert Pattinson. The pair have worked together on a number of projects over the years including The Bad Mother’s Handbook in 2007 and Bel Ami in 2012 in which they played lovers. ‘He’s lovely,’ she says. ‘I’ve known him since his pre-Twilight days when he was a normal person and it was still like, “ooh you’re playing Cederic Diggory (in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire)”. He’s managed to keep very level headed and normal. I don’t understand how. I can’t fathom the idea of living a life like he lives. On the set of Bel Ami in Budpest there would be hundreds of screaming girls there at 5am and they would still be cordoned off when we finished. He had to move hotels because there were so many people outside his. One day he was signing autographs on the way home from work at 6am after a night shoot. Bless him, that’s an extra level of hard.’
‘Bonnie & Clyde’, 6 and 13 February, 9pm, Lifetime Channel (Sky 156 and Virgin 242)