‘I get sick with fear,’ she says. ‘Not every night, but at the beginning and on occasions – not necessarily when I’m expecting it. You just have to cope with it – take it on the chin and work through it, trying to use the adrenaline to perform.’
The Oscar-winner also admits that life on film sets isn’t ideal when it comes to her marriage to director Taylor Hackford. ‘Working away from my husband for long periods is good and bad,’ she says.
‘It stops us taking each other for granted and gives us space, which is important. But I do love being with him and I miss him terribly when I’m away.
‘He always sends me a bouquet of yellow roses on a first night for luck. We aren’t remotely romantic with each other otherwise, so they’re all the more special.’
Helen will be appearing in The Audience at the Gielgud Theatre from late February.