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Minnie Driver discusses the ‘gift’ that came after the death of her parents | Ents & Arts News

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Minnie Driver says the death of her parents gave her a new sense of appreciation for the life she has.

The British-American actress says when her father, Ronnie Driver, died 15 years ago and her mother, Gaynor Churchward, died three years ago, she felt her “life had stopped in some way” and she believed “there wasn’t any way to recover”.

Speaking to Sky News, Driver says these huge “personal disasters” paved a new way of thinking for the actress.

Pic: Starz/Lionsgate
Image:
Minnie Driver as Queen Elizabeth I in The Serpent Queen. Pic: Starz/Lionsgate

“Something happens when there is a great schism in your life, a great breaking. Light gets let into that break in that fracture, and that invariably grinds something else. And what grew out of my parents dying was this incredible connection with living and with being present more than I’ve ever felt before.”

She adds: “Something like somebody dying really makes you live presently, and it is the gift that both my parents have continued – it’s what they left me with and it’s what I get to give my son.

“I offer him my presence and my complete and utter focus when we’re together and I don’t think there’s any greater gift and I thank [my parents] every day for that being the last thing they gave me.”

The Serpent Queen

Driver joins the cast of The Serpent Queen as Elizabeth I in its upcoming second season.

Based on the 2004 nonfiction book Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France by Leonie Frieda, the show takes some liberties to alter the story of the once monarch for television.

Two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton leads the series as Catherine de Medici.

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Pic: Starz/Lionsgate
Image:
Driver with Samantha Morton as Catherine de Medici. Pic: Starz/Lionsgate

“She and Catherine de Medici were in these pinnacles of power,” Driver explains.

“The kind of sacrifices that they had to make were extraordinarily hard but I think she’s kind of the embodiment of what it was to be a woman with these extraordinary compromises that she had to make.

“The notion of not getting married, not marrying somebody that she loved, not marrying anyone at all because she knew that that would invariably divest her of power, having children would be dangerous and that they would become targets, that she led this life that was incredibly focused and independent.”

‘Fame is not for the faint of heart’

Turning to her long-spanning career, the Speechless actress says young people nowadays realise the sacrifices that come with fame.

“I think kids today really think that it’s like a massive objective to be famous but there’s a price and you better be willing to really understand what that is, really understand what you’re going to have to compromise on in your life and get okay with that first,” she says.

Her first big break was in 1995 in Circle of Friends, the film based on the Maeve Binchy novel about young women growing up through adolescence and finding their true identities.

Three years later, Driver was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in Good Will Hunting.

“It was like going through a washing machine, you know, while being on a roller coaster because all you can do really is hang on.”

She says she’s grateful to have had “a really strong family” that guided her through life at that time.

“There were aspects that were fantastically fun and incredible but it’s a ride like that for sure and it’s not for the faint of heart.”

She adds: “There’s peaks and troughs in every life all the time. It’s not all just this one plain sailing status quo. I don’t think that exists to anybody, whether you’re Tom cruise or Tom Smith, just beginning on your acting journey.”

Season two of The Serpent Queen is available to stream on MGM+ from Friday 12 July.



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