Sienna Miller: Affleck is 'a real supporter from afar'
Live By Night actress first met co-star and director Ben Affleck in 2003
Sienna Miller's character is one of those who "live by night and dance fast" in Ben Affleck's new movie Live By Night, which is now showing in cinemas.
In the story set in the Prohibition era during the Roaring Twenties, Miller's character plays a gangster's moll who is in love with a petty criminal.
Miller described her as being on the fringe of society.
"She is a girl in a world that is violent, brutal, cruel and lawless. She is the daughter of a pimp, and her uncle is a murderer. She grew up in an environment where she just didn't stand a chance unless she was a scrapper in the way she is. I admire her survival instinct," Miller said.
The 35-year-old British-American actress said she met Affleck for the first time when she went to Los Angeles for a screen test with him for the 2003 movie Paycheck.
"Uma Thurman got the part. But I had this experience of a screen test, and it was so exciting with Affleck," Miller said.
"He has always, since that moment, been a real supporter from afar. So the opportunity to work with him, playing a part that was this damaged and fragile, was just exciting."
We are at the The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, and Miller is sweet and friendly, dressed in a pink and black wrap dress with a handkerchief hem by Proenza Schouler, with her blonde hair immaculately casual.
Affleck had impressed her with the many roles he took on in Live By Night.
"As a director, he is incredibly trusting, and he lets you run.
"In terms of examining the character, I wanted to dig and scratch, and it can be quite arduous for directors because I will not let it go," she said.
"And he was like, you have got it. In which case, you can try anything, and that is a huge gift from a director.
"As an actor, I never felt like I didn't have someone who was present and listening in a scene. He is able to do all in a way that is phenomenal, and way beyond my grasp."
Working in big studio films but doing supporting roles has been her plan, so she can be present for her four-year-old daughter, Marlowe, with British actor Tom Sturridge.
"For Live by Night, I worked three weeks. Marlowe was with me. She loves the set. Action means, shhhhh. And cut means, ahhhh. She was obsessed with the craft table. There are treats everywhere, so she was happy," Miller said.
But juggling schedules has not been easy since Marlowe has just started school.
"I haven't shot a film since December when I finished this. It is nearly a year I haven't worked. We have moved to New York. It is hard because I turn down things that I would love to do," Miller said.