BBorn in County Dublin, Niamh Cusack, 61, studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. His television work includes Heartbeat, The Virtues, and Death in Paradise. She performed on stage in My Brilliant Friend, and next month appears in The seven pomegranate seeds at the Rose Theater in Kingston upon Thames. She is married, has a son and lives in London.
When were you happiest?
When my son was born. In fact, probably a month later, when I got over the enormous responsibility of being a mom.
What is your biggest fear?
I’m a real coward about stealing. I write love texts to my loved ones just in case …
What trait do you deplore the most about yourself?
I am a little happy.
What are the traits that you deplore the most in others?
Lack of compassion and arrogance.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Being caught taking an emergency pee in the Cotswolds by two unsuspecting walkers.
Describe yourself in three words
Almost good enough.
What don’t you like the most about the way you look?
When I was young, I hated my nose and my butt. I got used to it now.
Who would you play as the movie of your life?
What is the worst thing ever told you?
Rex Harrison told me I have absolutely no comedic timing.
Who is your celebrity crush?
Michelle Obama is pretty cool.
What’s your most unpleasant habit?
Finish other people’s sentences.
What book are you ashamed of not having read?
Ulysses (I only read the good songs).
What did you want to be growing up?
A saint. Then a ballerina.
Would you choose fame or anonymity?
Anonymity. But then I am an actress.
What’s the last lie you told?
Oh, I never lie. (Here is!)
What does love look like?
A familiar shore long awaited at sunset.
Have you ever said ‘I love you’ and didn’t mean it?
No, but I changed my mind afterwards.
Which living person do you despise the most, and why?
Priti Patel. She lacks empathy.
What was your biggest disappointment?
Never make it into a Sondheim musical.
If you could change your past, what would you change?
I would have gone to my singing lessons at Guildhall.
What would improve the quality of your life?
What keeps you from sleeping at night?
The world we bequeath to our children and our children’s children, both climatically and politically.
Would you rather have more sex, money, or fame?
None of the above. I’m fine with what I have.
How would you like to be remembered?
Like pretty good.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
What happens when you die?
I don’t know, but I’m happy enough to return to the universe.