Do you see fame as a positive thing?
I’m interested in it as I am kind of weary of it. I think it has its pluses and minuses. I think everyone is intrigued and wants to have a part of that kind of world but if you are smart you realise the trap that it is as well.
Do you see similarities between celebrity and the royal worlds?
I think that the royal family of the ’30s and ’40s were the stars of their day. Edward VIII was really like a movie star. People were in love with him. Now, with the royals, their role in society seems to be reduced to being ambassadors. I think its a shame in a way. I like the old-fashioned way.
Do you know today’s royals?
I don’t really. I don’t get invited to any of their parties!
Do you relate to Wallis Simpson?
I think I had an insight into her character that possibly other directors wouldn’t have, because I know what it’s like to be reduced to a sound bite [laughs].
Do you think that because you’ve not come from a wealthy background – and now have quite a bit of wealth – you have a different attitude towards money, like in the movie?
Sure. I think when you have to earn your way in the world, you have a completely different outlook.
Do you dream abour Prince Charming?
I think we all do [laughs).
Your ex-husbands Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie are both in films. Did you learn from them?
Of course, yeah. I watched closely to what both of them did, with Sean as an actor and a director, and Guy as a director. With Sean, I saw the importance of preparing before you get to the set. Guy is a much more visual director and he takes a lot of risks when it comes to camera moves and things like that. He breaks the rules, and so I learned a lot from him in that aspect.
You are an inspiration for many artists. What do you say to them?
Oh well, I would just say what the Duchess says, get a life. (Laughter)
Are you flattered that Lady Gaga emulates your style?
Sure, why not?
How does it feel to be a role model to so many women?
Well, I am aware that everything I say and do is judged. I use that to the greater good, I know that I can influence people.
Are you nervous about how people will react to W.E.?
Of course. I think being nervous means you care and you want the outcome to be good. I come to the art of film-making with great humility, I respect it immensely as an art form, and I know that I have a lot to learn.