Galina Badalova, MCR President-elect, reports on the evening.
A delightful evening was had by all as Wadham welcomed back its alumna Rosamund Pike with open arms. The evening held in the Warden's Lodgings had a warm relaxed atmosphere. Guests came through to the sitting room to take their seats, and some had the pleasure of sharing a bean bag. Conversation flowed freely between Rosamund and her former tutor, Emeritus Fellow Bernard O’Donoghue, for the first 45 minutes of the event, with the floor opened to questions afterwards.
Rosamund referred to returning to Oxford as "coming back to oneself". Rosamund wanted to read English (rather than going to the drama school) because she saw the advantage of maturing the mind. She also credits Oxford for teaching her to think analytically and for having the confidence of opinion when "something is wrong, even if ten people tell you otherwise". After having noted the beauty of failure as well as achievement, the conversation moved on to the more recent projects and she touched on her involvement in a comedy about marital therapy.
Describing her job she said: "I love the sense of being able to disappear" in a character. Recently she has performed two roles where playing ‘real’ women: Marie Colvin (The Private War, 2018) and Marie Curie (Radioactive, 2020). Both were challenging in different ways. In the case of Colvin she was interviewing people in Jordan, who often did not realise that she is an actress, not a journalist; something Rosamund referred to as a humbling experience. When she was preparing for the role of Marie Curie, she noted that she was grateful for an opportunity to understand the complicated, scientific mind.
In answer to the question "What advice would you give to your younger self?" she answered: “Look up more, especially at Oxford's skyline. It's quite good for the soul and spend more time in the college's gardens. You realise you take Oxford’s beautiful architecture for granted only after you have gone, and I do miss it at times. "
Rosamund also reflected on growing up and the friendships she developed. "It is interesting how good friends I am now with my university friends. There could be an innate solitude in your first year, which could be kind of wonderful. But also, I wish it was a little bit more collaborative. Talk more to people around you, rather than have thoughts circling around in your head. The difference between ideas in your head and speaking them aloud is striking. Speaking to others is very enriching. And also don't be afraid of owning your ideas".
The evening concluded with drinks and canapes in the intimate atmosphere of the Lodgings. We hope Rosamund enjoyed visiting her alma mater.