Sally Phillips: How would I survive a zombie attack? Get another puppy – The Guardian

We moved countries every year and a half when I was little. My dad worked for British Airways. I was born in Hong Kong, lived in Zambia and Borneo, and was evacuated when the war started in Beirut.There are photos of me in Abu Dhabi in a little cotton dress made by my mother, watching the camel races with all these women in veils and long black dresses.

When I got to Oxford, my mind exploded. I remember the dangerous sports society abseiling down to rescue a pigs head from outside the Deans room. I was in a one-woman show The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy in which she gives herself stigmata. I said: Can I have real blood? so the stage manager went to the abattoir, got a bucket of sheeps blood and poured it all over me. It stank and turned me vegetarian for quite a while.

I was quite a swot. I thought: If I do well in my finals, Ill do a PhD. If I dont, Ill be an actor. Id seen a talk at the BFI on Italian cinema and was quite taken with sword and sandal movies and spaghetti westerns and thought I could do my PhD on them. Then I thought: Why do I want to watch people being dragged through dirt and lassoed for four years? So it made much more sense to me but devastating for my parents to run away to clown school.

When actors talk about process and comedians talk about jokes, theyre always a failure. That is one thing Ive learned: never try to explain your process, because you will sound like a wanker.

The absurd makes me laugh. People still come up to me in cinema toilets and ask me to sign photos of Rene Zellweger, because there was a period when I looked a bit like her.

When my husband left me [in 2017], I was in a massive panic and decided to do a singing show at the Palladium with Michael Crawford. My list went: go to Sainsburys, get meatballs, buy socks, go to Palladium, school run I think Im recovering from my divorce because Im no longer crying at Christmas adverts or swans who mate for life.

I dont really mind what I see in the mirror. I feel relatively attractive and friendly. But I find it completely horrifying when I see myself on screen. I just see a fat old lady.

My son Olly was born with Downs syndrome. Your consciousness is changed by whatever flavour of disability you have in your family. Mums with autistic children know everything; theyre just amazing. Families with Downs syndrome children tend to be quite relaxed, because theres no point planning ahead.

I spent nine Edinburgh festivals playing prostitutes who died from syphilis. It was quite hard to get an agent to see me dying of syphilis, but far easier when I was guesting in other peoples comedy.

For my first telly job, I was in bed with Mel Smith. He says: Im terribly sorry, love, it must have been the drink and it pans over to me covered in vomit, which was cold, chunky vegetable soup that gave me a skin rash.

How would I survive a zombie attack? I would probably go into deep denial and get another puppy. Thats the way I cope with everything challenging.

Sally Phillips has teamed with Anywhere Works to place people ahead of AI (anywhere

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Sally Phillips: How would I survive a zombie attack? Get another puppy - The Guardian

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