Hannah Waddingham opens up about the perks and pitfalls of fame: ‘Never been my intention’

Ted Lasso actress Hannah Waddingham is no stranger to making headlines around the globe.

Most recently the Emmy Award winner went viral and was praised for scolding a photographer on the Olivier’s red carpet when he asked her to “show me leg”.

Waddingham tells 9Honey Celebrity the scrutiny she faces following her rise to Hollywood fame can be both a blessing and a curse – and, it was not something the Broadway and West End star was prepared for.

Watch the video above

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Hannah Waddingham chats to 9Honey Celebrity

“You don’t spend 25 years only in theatre, to be famous,” she tells 9Honey Celebrity in a London hotel.

“I have never had any desire – and still don’t – [have] any desire to be famous.

“All I’ve ever wanted to do is good work and flick-flak from this role to that role to theatre to recording to hosting now and all the rest of it.

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Hannah Waddingham attends The Olivier Awards 2024 at The Royal Albert Hall on April 14, 2024 in London, England.

“So that’s always been my thing to run that full gamut and have a full bowl of all the different things. So that’s [fame] never been my intention.

“Obviously, there are lovely parts of it but people quoting what you’ve said or whatever, that’s not great – makes me want to get my mood necklace out and [makes cat hiss].”

The mood necklace is a reference to her latest character, voicing the maniacal cat Jinx who is out for revenge, in upcoming animated The Garfield Movie.

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Hannah Waddingham

Jinx crossed the pond from Britain to America in search of fame and fortune in the cat equivalent of Hollywood but never quite makes it.

The same can’t be said for Waddingham, who spent decades treading the boards on London’s West End before making it on Broadway in New York.

Hollywood then came calling and the actress has stared in TV shows Game of Thrones and Sex Education, as well as movies, including The Fall Guy, which was filmed in Australia.

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The Garfield Movie

Speaking fondly of her time in Australia to shoot the movie alongside Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, Waddingham says there are things she doesn’t miss about her time Down Under.

“I don’t miss the cockroaches or the hunter spiders,” she admits to 9Honey Celebrity.

“I got used to very used to looking inside my shoes before I put them on.”

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Following filming of the action comedy last year, Waddingham jumped straight into hosting mode for the Olivier Awards (UK’s answer to the Tonys) and the Eurovision Song Contest.

She then recorded her Christmas special Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas.

“Last year was the most amazing year finishing up there [in Australia], coming back… Olivier’s, Eurovision, Christmas special – it was literally packed out and then I started on this [Garfield].

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(L to R) Emily Blunt, Winston Duke, Stephanie Hsu, Ryan Gosling, Hannah Waddingham, Kelly McCormick and David Leitch

“There was a lovely intimacy of being in a recording studio just with our director, Mark Duggan and just having that kind of just bringing everything down and more contained … you are afforded the luxury of just leaning into one sense and as a singer, I’ve really loved that.”

Despite having ticked off live theatre, movies, TV series, animations, recording and hosting, Waddingham tells 9Honey Celebrity there’s still plenty left on the old bucket list.

“That’s the beauty of it – flick-flacking all over the place keeps me satisfied,” she says.

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Hannah Waddingham

“I’ve never been somebody who’s obsessed with just you know, looking lovely on camera or whatever, I like to completely metamorphosise.

“So, you know, the next thing I’m doing, I’ll be very different again and I love the fact that everything people see me and it’s just a slight adjustment.

“I’ve never really wanted to just look like me or sound like me, because I just find that boring. So, I feel I’m very privileged that I can kind of dip my toe into various different places.”

The Garfield Movie is in cinemas around Australia on May 30.

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