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8 Sep

A blind speed date with Emma Mackey

Over the course of a 15-minute chat, the Sex Education and Barbie actor talks to Dazed about memes, Elizabeth I and being the face of Burberry Goddess fragrance

Emma Mackey is a hoot. And I don’t use that word flippantly. I didn’t know what to anticipate once I took the chance to interview the British-French actress. I knew her best from her work as Maeve in Netflix’s Sex Education (which is coming to its last season), Physicist Barbie in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie and as Emily Brontë in Frances O’Connor’s directorial debut Emily, but I didn’t know what she’d be like.

We only had quarter-hour but we laughed and joked right through. It almost felt like I used to be on a blind speed date (our cameras weren’t on). It was short and sweet, the sort of conversation that was all the time destined to be quarter-hour and never a second longer.

Mackey is the face of Burberry’s latest fragrance, Burberry Goddess, a novel gourmand fragrant fragrance led by a strong trio of vanillas. Resulting from the continued SAG-AFTRA strikes (support the strikes!), we didn’t discuss any of Mackey’s past or present acting projects. But we were in a position to chat with Mackey about her collaboration with Burberry and listen to her impersonate an ancient, yet iconic meme which can (or may not) awaken something deep inside you.

Burberry describes you as ‘radiating confidence, strength and kindness’, and this can be the innate spirit of Burberry Goddess Eau de Parfum. Have you usually been a self-assured person?

Emma Mackey: No, I haven’t all the time been a self-assured person, and I don’t think I’m more often than not! I don’t think lots of us are. But I believe what’s helped me over the previous few years has been my job. It teaches me lots, and it keeps me curious. I meet fascinating, different people quite usually, which helps keep the brain sharp. The more people I meet, the more I feel like I’ve chosen my people. I’ve chosen my friends and my family, and it’s a very good feeling to be bolstered by those people. So should you feel held by others, you’ll feel higher about yourself.

With a title like Burberry Goddess, I even have to ask: what does being a ‘goddess’ mean to you, and when do you most feel like one? 

Emma Mackey: I believe we could just scrap this query because truthfully, I don’t know! It seems very hypercritical [to talk about being a ‘goddess’] because it is a perfume campaign, and it’s all very, … But the entire thing that attracted me to this project in the primary place, consider it or not, was that it wasn’t showy. I didn’t wear quite a lot of make-up, my hair wasn’t done, and I wore an easy dress. It’s literally just me stripped bare and running. And that was an interesting concept to me. It was something quite different from what I’m used to. Even a few years ago, I don’t think I might have had the boldness to do this.

That’s so true. You’re running throughout the campaign, which is so sweaty and intense. Your stripped-back make-up, hair and fashion reflect the deal with your running and strength.

Emma Mackey: Yeah, I believe it’s just quite refreshing in a way. I didn’t want it to be too excessive, even when I’m running with lions, which is a bit ridiculous. However it feels quite pared back weirdly, in a superb way.

As an actress, you’re accustomed to portraying characters. How does your experience in acting play a task in bringing this perfume to life?

Emma Mackey: Well, it was interesting because I had no lines. It was all motion. I used to be conveying emotions through just my face and thru my body movement and I trained for that, in a really athletic fashion, regardless that I’m not an athlete. I wish I were. I needed to be taught the fundamentals of running, caring for my body, and warming up. After which we only had 4 days to shoot because we were filming in magic hour. So we only had 45 minutes for 4 days, and every thing needed to be in place, and it was really adrenaline-boosting. The whole lot needed to be perfect, and it was like, go, go, go!

What should a superb fragrance have the option to do for you?

Emma Mackey: I don’t think it ought to be doing an excessive amount of of the talking. If a perfume can melt down in your skin and feel like a component of you, that’s once you’ve hit the nail on the top. Everyone loves it once they get complimented on their smell. I believe it’s a stunning thing. I believe it makes you’re feeling good. I like comforting smells. I’ll all the time try to search out something familiar that appears like me, but that’s a bit unexpected, too. Perfume is sort of the one thing I wear. I don’t wear make-up or do anything to my hair. I don’t wish to say I’m lazy, nevertheless it’s not likely a habit of mine; sometimes, I make an effort, and sometimes I don’t. But perfume and moisturising are the one things I do day-after-day.

Should you went back in time, which historical figure would you give Burberry Goddess to? 

Emma Mackey: It could need to be someone like Barbara Stanek. An awesome actress that I like. She’s got gumption, great character and personality. And an amazing voice. She’s only a wonder. So I’d hope she’d like a bit spritz.

That’s a superb one. I’d definitely give it to someone like Queen Elizabeth I, ?

Emma Mackey: Oh, wow. We’re really going back in time, huh?

Oh, way back, babe. She didn’t shower fairly often, so I believe she’d appreciate it.

Emma Mackey: She would, she would. They really stank back within the day, in order that’s really smart.

Thanks. OK, next query. How would you describe the perfect scenario or setting for somebody to wear Burberry Goddess?

Emma Mackey: OMG. Let me take into consideration this. I don’t know if there’s an ideal setting. It ought to be a every day thing. It’s a spritz in your wrist. Wear it throughout the day. It softens into your skin. It’s a daytime or evening smell. It should feel timeless. It shouldn’t feel like there’s a selected place for it. But because I’m currently in Somerset and looking out onto rolling fields of green, it’s sunny and lovely; I’d say pop yourself in a field and have a twig.

If Burberry Goddess was a meme, what wouldn’t it be?

Emma Mackey: I do not know! Gosh, I’m so out of the loop. What even are the memes lately? The one thing that I can consider is the Apparently Kid.

The who?

Emma Mackey: *proceeds to impersonate the Apparently Kid*: He says, ‘Apparently, I’ve never been on live television before.’ That was my response to being in a perfume campaign. ‘Apparently, I’ve never been in a perfume campaign before, and sometimes I watch the Powerball.’

I’m (shamefully) chronically online, but I’ve never heard of this meme before.

Emma Mackey: You’ve never seen that before? Are you kidding me? Google him right away. He’s like an old man in a baby’s body.

OMG. It’s the little ginger boy.

Emma Mackey: Yes!

I like him. I remember him now. I’m wondering what he’s doing. How is he?

Emma Mackey: I believe he has his own show now and is presenting. Anyway, that’s one other story for one more day. Possibly that’s not very Burberry Goddess, but that’s just my experience.

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