This week A United Kingdom hits screens Australia-wide, but you won’t be seeing a peep of online activity from its Oscar-nominated star, because she doesn’t have an Instagram account, Facebook page, or even so much as a single tweet to her name.
“I don’t do any social media,” says Rosamund Pike, the London-born actor of Gone Girl glory, down the line from Malta where she’s chatting to us while on set. “I just know I wouldn’t have time to run it properly. I have a lot of emails that I can’t keep on top of and, I don’t know, I just think – once you’re on it, you’re on it.”
Recalling her recent experience of being interviewed for a style magazine via Facebook live, she lamented on her co-panellists (“really clever, young girls”) shamelessly declaring that they don’t read books anymore – which was blasphemy on the ears of this Oxford literature graduate. “They’re saying, ‘This is our life’ – it’s completely on social media, which can mean you’re very informed, and I like that part of it, I like the fact that it can mean you’re very, very current and up-to-date. I’m not at all current or up-to-date, that’s why I’m doing all these films in the past,” she jokes.
Set to the backdrop of post war-Britain and Southern Africa in the late 1940s, A United Kingdom tells the incredible true story of Ruth (played by Rosamund) and Seretse Khama, whose unlikely love story flew in the face of racial prejudice and revolutionised two countries. Entebbe, her current project, is based around a 1976 hijacking incident in the skies above Central Uganda.
“I can be sort of remarkably under-informed about what’s actually going on now, although ask me about 1976 and I’ll be quite well up [to date],” Rosamund laughs, explaining that her boycotting of social media has little to do with protecting her privacy or that of her two sons. “I’m not so worried about the fact that people would get a window [into] my life, because obviously you have control over that – you can reveal as much or as little as you want – and I don’t think it has to be a total invasion of your privacy, but you’re expected to respond and be very present. I think it could become another pressure – a pressure rather than a pleasure.”
Feeling the pressure this holiday season? Make like Rosamund and switch off. Enjoy a little socialising IRL.
Read our interview with Rosamund in Issue 41 and see A United Kingdom in cinemas from Boxing Day.