What’s the view from your sofa?
It’s exactly the same view as it was when I was growing up. Back then, there was a fireplace next to the TV. Now it’s an electric fireplace. I grew up watching television from the floor of a gigantic living room in our big farmhouse in Amish country. I think my mother would have preferred a sophisticated life in the city, which is why she had a black mid-century sofa and a coffee table, but that was it. The rest of the room was empty.
What were you watching on television back then?
Every Saturday morning, I sat on the floor watching what we now call “film noir”. My father would say, “Go outside and get the stink blown off you.” But all I wanted to do was watch television. I loved it.
- Shetland star Mark Bonnar: “Strictly often reduces me to tears”
- Kirsty Young on swotting for Desert Island Discs and how she winds down from “intense” interviews
Do you still enjoy TV as much?
I’m obsessed with television. I can’t get enough of it, especially now I can watch so many international shows. It’s really exciting seeing life in every country in the world. Plus, we can now watch everything everywhere. It’s thrilling.
What have you enjoyed recently?
The Crown is brilliant. I love crime shows set in small towns in other countries – it’s fascinating to see how people interact. I also loved British dramas like Marcella, River and Broadchurch. Oh, and I love Sherlock. Yes, I’m a Cumberbitch!
Anything aside from drama?
A documentary was recommended to me about a woman’s life after a brain haemorrhage, called My Beautiful Broken Brain – and it’s so touching and true. It’s remarkably similar to my own experience. In 2001, I had a stroke and a nine-day brain haemorrhage that changed my life forever. I had a five per cent chance of surviving.
Are you fully recovered now?
When I came home after the stroke, I could barely walk. My hip was unstable. I couldn’t see out of my left eye and I couldn’t hear out of my left ear. I couldn’t write my name for almost three years. I couldn’t get my arm to listen to my mind, so I had to learn to read and write again. I had to learn to speak again. It took years for the feeling to come back to my left leg, but it finally came back. My vision also came back and my directional hearing is much better, although every now and then I still ask people, “Can you please sit on the other side?”
Was it hard returning to work?
I started by doing a guest role on Law & Order: SVU [in 2010], which was really humbling and strange. I’d lost my photographic memory, so I didn’t know how to do my lines, but now I’m really together. Everything is good and it’s exciting to be back with this Steven Soderbergh show, Mosaic.
Do you predict more television projects in your future?
Do I want to do more TV? Yes. Would I do TV anywhere? Yes, but it’s about finding the right project. I am looking, but it’s a hard search.
Mosaic airs on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV from Saturday 16th Feburary at 10pm