Movie Article

Q&A: Kate Beckinsale

The British actress talks about her new political drama ''Nothing But the Truth,'' her new perspective on interviews, and the presidential election

In the political drama Nothing But the Truth, the British actress Kate Beckinsale, 35, tackles her toughest role yet as a newspaper reporter who reveals the identity of a CIA agent and spends almost a year in jail when she refuses to name her source.

How did this role affect how you feel about doing interviews?
I spent time at the Los Angeles Times watching women reporters on the phone, and it didn't feel as personal when they were interviewing somebody else. There's more of a noble reason to it. When somebody's asking me how often I have sex with my husband, I don't necessarily feel the world urgently needs to know that.

How strange was it to film at a functioning prison in Memphis?
It felt odd to be wearing the same uniform as the prisoners and yet I knew I was going to be able to go home. The level of panic about germs — I hadn't anticipated that. The warden was terrified of me touching a wall or a chair. He'd rush at me with hand sanitizer. It made me think, ''My God, what do you know that I don't?''

As a British citizen living in the U.S., were you a news junkie during the election? I really enjoyed the whole debate process. We don't have that in England. And I was so shocked to see people admitting to being Republican on their front lawn!

Originally posted Dec 12, 2008 Published in issue #1026 Dec 19, 2008 Order article reprints