As Thomasin McKenzie’s crotchedy landlady, the late Diana Rigg shines in Last Night In Soho. The movie doesn’t just feature a standout performance from the Avengers icon, though: The film’s young lead, Thomasin McKenzie, also lends a memorably eerie vibe to the movie.
As aspiring fashion designer Ellie Turner, McKenzie is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when she gets to London to study, only to find herself struggling with both her classmates and the city at large. She moves into her own flat, offered for lease by Rigg’s character, and then the twists and turns start flying.
McKenzie shares quite a bit of screen time with Rigg, who she told The A.V. Club in the interview above was “an incredibly strong woman.” “She was incredibly kind and generous,” says McKenzie. “I remember her bringing bags of chocolate to set for everyone to dig into and during rehearsals, rather than rehearsing, we’d watch funny videos on her phone. Everyone crowded around her and she’d be she’d be cracking up.”
Still, McKenzie says that she learned a lot from Rigg. “Once we got down to business,” she says, “she was there to get the job done and she did such an incredible job.”
McKenzie says watching Rigg taught her to stand up for herself on set. “If she had an opinion or an idea, she would speak out whether it was picked or whether everyone agreed or not,” says McKenzie. “She contributed and she wasn’t shy. [From her] I learned just being able to assert yourself and be engaged in the conversation and not feel like your opinion isn’t worthy.”
McKenzie says she also took great joy in working with Soho director Edgar Wright, whose films she’d previously admired. Asked to pick a favorite, she says that she’d “hate to try to pick just one because [she loves] all of them, but definitely Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.” She continues, “I just love that film so much. I thought it was so smart with all that animation and how it looks like a video game, and it’s so funny. I really, really loved that one.”
Last Night In Soho is in theaters now. You can read our review of the movie right here.