Minnie Driver: ‘I had to fake an orgasm in a room full of male execs at an audition for a chocolate bar ad’

Born in London, Minnie Driver, 53, gained an Oscar nomination for Good Will Hunting in 1998. She was Emmy nominated for her performance in the 2007 television series The Riches and has a recurring role in Will & Grace. More recent films include Cinderella, Rosaline and Chevalier. She has a podcast, Minnie Questions With Minnie Driver, and her memoir, Managing Expectations, was published last year. She lives in California with her partner, the film-maker Addison O’Dea, and her son.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
When I was starting out, in the early 90s, I had to fake an orgasm in a room full of male ad execs at an audition for a chocolate bar ad. It was grim.

What makes you unhappy?
One negative thought attracting all the others and suddenly you are circling the drain.

What scares you about getting older?
Not being able to swim and surf and run and dance.

Related: Minnie Driver on losing her mother: ‘I learned grief is an expression of love’

Who is your celebrity crush?
Daniel Day-Lewis. I have loved him since I was 12 years old. I watched him play in a football match at my school – and then walked him back to the changing rooms after, and he was so kind and he talked to me about acting.

What do you owe your parents?
My love.

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
I know I should be more evolved, but the person I would like to say sorry to I’m not ready to say sorry to yet.

Have you ever said ‘I love you’ and not meant it?
I’ve said it knowing I didn’t mean it how the other person meant it.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Bollocking shitbags.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
I thought that I would become more mature about certain things, and it didn’t happen.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I’d edit out all the awful men I managed to find who confirmed my worst suspicions about my body and my character.

When was the last time you changed your mind about something significant?
Until very recently, I felt my son was safe at school in America. I do not believe that any more.

How often do you have sex?
When the tumble dryer and the washing machine are going at the same time, because we live in a very small, thin-walled house.

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What has been your closest brush with the law?
I’d been shooting in a remote part of California and I was speeding home at 5am, covered in fake blood, when I got stopped by the police. The cop was suspicious and said, “What have you been doing?” I said, “I’ve been shooting”, and he drew his gun. I have never been so terrified. I said, “No no, I’ve been shooting a film – I’m an actress!”

Would you rather have more sex, money or fame?
Can I have sleep?

How would you like to be remembered?
With great stories.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
That your life is only in this very second.

What happens when we die?
It’s lights out for the beautiful carbon-based bit, but I believe in the vastness of our ignorance and that our conscious afterlife is somewhere in that.