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Samantha Womack regrets not returning dad’s phone call for week before he died

As a child I was an introvert, who looked like an extrovert.

I was a fearful little thing – insecure and vulnerable, and I found other people and new environments very stressful, but it hid itself very well.

I had a big smile, so nobody knew what was going on inside.

My grandmother was the greatest love of my life.

She always felt like safety.

She was a choreographer on cruise ships and loved animals and food – I’m very like her in many ways.

She had a tiny council flat in London’s Kings Cross and it was the happiest place in the world for me.

As a child it was the only home I had that stayed constant.

I’d walk up the concrete stairs and I could smell whatever she was cooking through her kitchen window.

I can still remember the sound of her opening the door – I don’t think I’ll ever be as happy as I was then.

My grandmother would tell me ‘wait to react’.

I’ve always been quite impulsive and I shoot from the hip, so it’s the best advice I’ve ever been given.

Whether I act on it or not is another thing, but I try.

I would tell my 18-year-old self that it doesn’t matter as much as you think it does.

Whatever it is that you’re worrying about, it’s all going to be OK.

People would tell me that being a teenager was great, but I think it’s the most miserable time.

You’re trying to figure out who you are.

Losing my home was my most life-changing event.

I had a bad financial spell in my late 20s.

I’d been out of work and my daughter Lily had just been born, and then I had a tax investigation.

They went back seven years and asked me for money and I didn’t have
it, so we had to sell our house.

It was the worst thing that ever happened to me and I felt like a failure, but it was also the best thing that ever happened to me, because it made me realise that the things we hold on to – that we think are valuable – aren’t necessarily important.

My biggest regret is not calling my dad before he died.

We’d kind of fallen out – a silly argument – but he took his own life.

I know intellectually that decision-making has nothing to do with one person, and he had mental illness , but if there was one thing I could go back and change it would be that.

He’d left a message on my answering machine saying: ‘Call your dad Sam.’

I didn’t and he died a week later.

I thought – I’ll call him at some point, but I was too upset and he was upset.

I always wonder what would have happened if I’d made the call.

I don’t have time for grudges.

My dad’s death informs how I behave and even influences the advice I give to other people, which is to be present, because you never know what’s around the corner.

Otherwise those tiny decisions that mean nothing are suddenly the things that shape you.

Being vegan makes sense to me.

My 14-year-old daughter is vegan and I know it’s much better for the planet.

I was vegan for two months, but it’s hard when you’re on tour.

I’m veggie, but I am trying to be vegan.

I mourned Ronnie Mitchell when I left EastEnders .

It’s hard leaving a job and the idea of not having regular employment was frightening, so the first few months I was anxious about being free again.

I’d become institutionalised, but now I can’t imagine going back and I love the freedom of not knowing what I’m doing next.

It would have been nice to have had the opportunity to return, but I liked the fact it was an iconic ending.

(Ronnie drowned in a swimming pool while wearing her wedding dress.)

Women can be obsessive and we can be hard on ourselves.

That’s what I like about playing Rachel in The Girl On The Train in the theatre.

I was sick of reading modern characters, such as Bridget Jones , who are twee versions of real women.

Just because she wears big pants and gets drunk, you’re not really showing the darker side of women.

Whereas Rachel is an unruly anti-heroine.

I get happier as I get older.

The irony will be I’ll probably be at my happiest just before I pop my clogs!

Just as you’ve got the answers – time’s up!

The secrets behind my snapshot

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