Sienna Miller talks ‘Anatomy of a Scandal,’ her Sunday plans

Sienna Miller in a scene from the courtroom thriller "Anatomy of a Scandal." (Ana Cri ...

“I’m a Sunday girl,” actor Sienna Miller says.

The “American Sniper” and “Factory Girl” star, also famous for a few tabloid headlines, professes her love of the seventh day on a rainy Tuesday at the SoHo Hotel in London. Only five more days until Miller and 9-year-old daughter Marlowe engage in a weekly ritual.

Miller not only nests, but opens her London home to family, friends and stragglers. It turns out that this is quite a British thing to do.

“I host a good Sunday British roast. I cook all day long with the bulk of my morning spent in the kitchen,” she says and then pauses. “Do you know what a Sunday roast means?”

A British Sunday roast, she explains, consists of roasted meats, roasted potatoes and the sides, including traditional Yorkshire pudding plus stuffing, gravy, applesauce, mint sauce and red currant jelly. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, parsnips or peas can be roasted alongside the meat and potatoes.

This isn’t a once a year thing. It’s an every Sunday joy.

The 40-year-old Miller channels her inner Julia Child. “You literally cook the entire day,” she says. “It’s quite a social thing. People come over to help you cook. People turn up with bottles of wine and dessert. Show up with some roasted potatoes if you want. It doesn’t matter what you want to roast, but start it at home and bring it to my house. The deal is we eventually eat a huge meal and everyone stays until 10 at night.”

Miller puts away her spatula and roasting pan to work on hot projects, including Netflix’s current courtroom thriller, the miniseries, “Anatomy of a Scandal.” She plays Sophie, a woman whose perfect marriage hits the skids when her politician husband (Rupert Friend) confesses he cheated on her with a colleague. The twist? He’s also accused of rape.

Developed by David E. Kelley, the series follows other potboilers such as “Big Little Lies” and “The Undoing” in exploring the secrets in a marriage.

Review-Journal: What kind of cardio goes along with burning off some of these Sunday roasts?

Sienna Miller: (Laughs) One time Rupert (Friend) showed up, he made us go outside and start rolling in the snow. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much in my life.

Did you always love Sundays?

Truthfully, no. When I was younger, Sunday meant leaving home to go away to boarding school. So, Sunday didn’t become a favorite until I was older.

Changing gears to “Anatomy of a Scandal”: Explain our fascination with courtroom dramas.

It’s simple. If you’re setting something in a court, it means there has been a crime, which is also fascinating. With this one, just when you think that you’re on one side, you might wander over to the other side. You keep questioning, which is the goal. In “Anatomy,” you also realize that the legal system is a strange world. Lawyers must advocate for their clients sometimes knowing that they’re guilty.

What does “Anatomy” say about marriage? You play a woman who thought she was happily married until she finds out about her husband’s secret life.

Here you have a case where this woman has invested her entire life in this man and this marriage. She genuinely believed in their love and their union. In fact, they were the envy of others with this seemingly perfect marriage. The optics are there. Kaboom! It explodes. The shame is hard to take, and the revelations keeping coming. It sets her off on this trajectory of self-analysis. She asks, “How much worse can it get?” But when your husband or wife is keeping secrets, you learn that it can get a lot worse.

Did all the hoopla in the tabloids in your own life (when she broke up with fiancé Jude Law) give you trepidation when it came to taking this role? Again, it’s about a woman’s personal life making headlines.

In some ways, I was reserved about playing her because some of the content felt similar to moments I’ve experienced in my own life. But that feels like another life long, long ago. I asked myself why would I want to put myself back into those feelings. There was a sense of catharsis. As for the rest, a relationship between two people is a complex space for everyone. In the case of this miniseries, the theme is that infidelity is a part of a lot of lives. This was a seemingly happy marriage.

You cry a lot in this series and in movies. Is that easy to do on screen?

No! I find it really difficult to do! I used to be able to cry on screen by listening to Coldplay’s “I’ll Fix You.” (Laughs.)

How do you force yourself to cry now?

I usually sit in the corner with sad music on. At 40, it’s very easy to tap into that trauma to find the tears. It’s not pleasant, but through enough life experience and sense memory you can do it. Not that my life is filled with tragedy.

When did you decide to become an actress?

It might be as early as the age of 3. I honestly don’t remember ever wanting to do anything else. I would put on little shows at 3 or 4 and announce that this was what I planned to do for the rest of my life.

What is the toughest part of your job?

You have to put yourself in a certain state of mind. I take it seriously, so that’s what I want to do. I want the work to be good. I know we’re not saving lives. We’re telling stories — and that also has its place and helps people.

What do you like to do in your free time?

A glass of wine. A hot bath. Cuddles with my baby. I love the time with my daughter. Dogs are running around. And a good Sunday roast is on the horizon.