The M Interview: Sienna Miller is fired up for fine cooking
The British actress reunites with American Sniper co-star Bradley Cooper in culinary drama-comedy Burnt
Right after British actress Sienna Miller finished filming last year's biographical war film American Sniper, she and leading man Bradley Cooper (below) jumped straight into their next movie together, the culinary dramedy Burnt.
The pair already had amazing on-screen chemistry as husband and wife in American Sniper, so to star opposite each other again as lovers only enhanced the relationship between their characters, world-renowned bad boy chef Adam Jones and Helene, a single mother whom he recruits on his team in his attempt to go after a third Michelin star.
Burnt is currently showing here.
On her second go-round with US actor Cooper, Miller enjoyed the experience - and not just because she got to kiss one of Hollywood's hottest stars.
"I can't even talk about that stuff because when you're at work doing these scenes, that's not a real scenario in any sense," the 33-year-old English actress said at Burnt's press junket at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills.
"But I would say that we are, and remain, very close friends. We speak almost every day. He's someone I value enormously and we just work really well together."
Cooper, 40, recently spoke up about his decision to reveal his salary to his female co-stars, after his other regular leading lady Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, Serena, Joy) kicked off an ongoing conversation about Hollywood's gender wage gap in an op-ed early last month that revealed how she and American Hustle co-star Amy Adams were paid much less than their male co-stars, including Cooper.
CHEMISTRY: Sienna Miller and co-star Bradley Cooper at the Burnt premiere in New York City on Oct 20. PHOTO: AFP
Miller said that she walked away from a role on Broadway because of unequal pay.
"There were two people in the play and I was offered less than half than what the male was offered," she recalled.
"It would have felt undignified for me. I think there have been global conversations taking place now for almost a year that are really exciting. I think it will take sacrifices on our part as women and I do feel that the tide is turning and I am very inspired by what Jennifer did."
Another change Miller would like to see in the industry is having more significant parts for women.
Although being completely cut out of the recent crime drama Black Mass didn't bother her - she was offered a cameo as the girlfriend of infamous Boston gangster Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp) by movie studio Warner Bros, which took a few days of work - she does mention that when you hear of a woman's part ending up being edited out of a film, it's probably because the roles that are written for women are not "significant enough".
"They are disposable and aren't big enough to make the final cut and that's where the real issue is," she said. "Not because of performance issues."
It's the indispensable roles she looks for each time she is offered a script, which was the case with Burnt.
Helene is a female chef trying to make it in a man's world, something not too different from Hollywood.
But the real similarity Miller - who has a three-year-old daughter Marlowe with ex-fiance, English actor Tom Sturridge - shares with her character is the fact that they are single mums who have to struggle with compromise.
"Sometimes I feel compromised because I have a daughter and have to work. It's complex and I need that creative output, but it comes at a cost, so I can relate to that part of her."
And in order to make sure she has a good work-life balance, Miller admits she's been lucky to land roles that don't take much commitment - American Sniper and Foxcatcher (2014) both took three weeks to film and Burnt took four.
For Burnt, Miller came away with newfound appreciation of the culinary arts after the movie wrapped.
"My kitchen skills are definitely better," she said with a laugh. "For this movie, I trained with a two-Michelin-starred chef and learned to make homemade pasta and fillet fish even though it was about 120 degrees (Celsius) at the fish station. It was an amazing experience."