Maxine Peake: ‘People go to therapy. I’ve got a hoover’

Maxine Peake is wearing slippers and a faded grey dressing-gown belted loosely round her waist. There is an indistinct white-ish stain on one shoulder that might or might not be scraped-off baby sick. “Sorry about that,” she says, dabbing at it ineffectually.

Her face, fine-boned and pale, peers out from underneath roughly swept-back hair. Most actresses like to claim they don’t really care how they look, but Peake is the first I’ve met who genuinely seems to mean it.

“For me,” she says, “It’s about being as down-to-earth and low-maintenance as possible.”

It turns out the dressing-gown is for a role: Peake is currently filming Keeping Rosy, a low-budget independent film in which she plays an advertising executive whose life spirals out of control. Today, the crew are filming in an antiseptic apartment in London’s Canary Wharf but she’s actually here to promote her turn in

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