Why did Jenny Agutter get cut from her latest film?

Call The Midwife actress Jenny Agutter has revealed how she lost out because the director of her latest film, Queen Of The Desert, is a stickler for time mananagement.

The biopic about traveller and writer Gertrude Bell was directed by German filmmaker Werner Herzog and features a cast which includes Nicole Kidman in the lead role, Damian Lewis, Robert Pattinson and James Franco

Werner Herzog and Nicole Kidman

Werner Herzog and Nicole Kidman (Axel Schmidt/AP)

“Werner would finish early. He would do shots and then go: ‘That’s it. I don’t need to do any more’,” she said.

Jenny, who plays Sister Julienne in the BBC1 series, added that her character experienced the chopping block, because the director was so punctual.

“I got cut out of one scene because I hadn’t arrived,” she recalled.

“I said, ‘But I was not meant to arrive until the next day’. He said, ‘Yes, but it was there and we could do it’. I said, ‘But I wasn’t there’. He said, ‘I know. We had to cut you out’.”

Jenny Agutter

Jenny Agutter (Nick Ansell/PA)

Despite running into trouble with the director, Jenny said that she enjoyed the experience.

“I really, really enjoyed it. Werner is very different from other people. What’s so good about working with different directors is what they bring to it, and he brings a whole experience that is quite different from anyone I’ve worked with before,” Jenny said.

“He loves his actors; he absolutely loves film. Everything belongs to him on a set and he doesn’t want anything to get between what his actors are doing and the storyline.

“He hates being on a monitor; the monitor shows you the reality of what’s happening and he’s very focused on things being real.”

Jenny added: “It didn’t have particularly good reviews when it opened at Berlin. I look forward to seeing it. I’m sure what I saw when I was dubbing it looked magnificent in terms of the desert and [Nicole] Kidman and things.”


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