Q&A: Kristin Davis

Published March 27, 2014

After playing one quarter of arguably the most famous – and stylishly accessorised – group of brutally honest female friends in the history of popular culture, you wouldn’t think much would faze Kristin Davis. It turns out however, the experience of being on the West End stage – a long held ambition for the popular Colorado-born actress – is in fact terrifying, as Davis revealed to us when we put her under the Official London Theatre Q&A spotlight.

Making her London stage debut earlier this week in Trevor Nunn’s stylish take on the cult film Fatal Attraction, any terror she may have been feeling was well hidden – with the exception of certain bunny boiling moments of course – as she charmed the audience with an endearing and impressive portrayal of a woman whose husband’s betrayal brings danger to their cosy door.

While many of us may be well-versed in the ins and outs of the life of Charlotte York and indeed her unfortunate Fatal Attraction alter ego, we wanted to delve into the life and passions of the actress away from the bright lights of the stage and the colossally successful Sex And The City franchise. Read on to discover what we found out, from charitable inspirations to a refreshingly normal love of mashed potatoes and apple pie.

Describe the experience of being a part of Fatal Attraction in six words.
Terrifying, flattering, exciting, gruelling, educational, interesting.

What was it that attracted you to the West End?
I’ve always wanted to do a show in the West End, and the involvements of Trevor Nunn and Natasha McElhone ensured it would be a good experience.

What first sparked your interest in performing?
I was drawn to performing when I was a child as a way to deal with my shyness.

How did you feel when you made your Broadway debut in 2012?
I was very nervous about performing in The Best Man on Broadway! It had been a long time since I had performed in a large theatre and the cast was so amazing (Angela Lansbury, James Earl Jones etc) that I wanted to live up to what they were doing on stage.

Your father was a professor of psychology. Do you think that encouraged an interest in doing a job where you have to get into the minds of different types of people?
I do think that my father’s involvement in psychology has helped me in my acting career. It was normal for everyone to discuss people’s motivations and feelings in our house.

What is the finest performance you have ever seen?
It is impossible to choose the best performance I’ve ever seen! When you have seen someone who is tremendously present and relaxed on stage – Cynthia Nixon and Liev Schreiber come to mind – then you can relax as a viewer and give over to the experience of the play you’re seeing.

If you could create a fantasy stage production to star in, who would you cast, who would direct and what would it be?
My fantasy stage production would involve going back in time to when I could still play Juliet. I would want Trevor [Nunn] to direct me at the Old Vic. I can’t tell you who I would cast as Romeo; that seems too personal…

Who or what has inspired you?  
I’m inspired by Daphne Sheldrick [the Kenyan author and conservationist]. Her entire life has been devoted to caring for orphaned animals and fighting to protect them through The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

What is the best and worst thing about having been a part of Sex And The City?
I am very lucky to be a part of Sex And The City. It is amazing to be involved in something that people around the world relate to. I have no complaints!

What do you do when you’re not performing or rehearsing?
When I’m not at work I’m with my daughter doing things she likes to do!

What would you choose as a last meal?
My last meal would be fried chicken, mashed potatoes, apple pie and chocolate chip cookies.

What is your favourite city in the world?
My favorite city is still probably New York. I love Central Park and I obviously have a lot of history there. I think London is so beautiful though, it is a close second favorite!

If you could only recommend one book, one film and one album, what would they be?
Book: What Is The What by Dave Eggers; Film: The Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind; Album: Revolver by The Beatles

Do you have a pre-show routine or any rituals?
I do stretching and vocal warm-ups so that I am more relaxed and open than I would normally be during the day. Sometimes I dance to the music from the other scenes backstage to keep myself in my character’s own world so I am not impacted by what is going on on stage in scenes I am not a part of.

What ambitions would you like to fulfil?
I would like to help ban the sale of ivory all over the world so that elephants could live in peace and not face extinction in the near future.

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?
I would probably be a yoga teacher if I wasn’t an actor.

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"When you have seen someone who is tremendously present and relaxed on stage then you can relax as a viewer and give over to the experience"