Natalie Dormer on her ‘smirk’: ‘I’ve a lopsided mouth. I can’t help it’

Natalie Dormer

Natalie Dormer has a new interview with The Sunday Times to promote her role in next month’s Mockingjay: Part I release. (I can’t wait for this movie.) Natalie always delivers, and she looks super fierce with her half-shaved head for this role. She says taking on the part of Cressida is a welcome change to playing queens and random, smoking hot blondes.

Natalie rails a little bit in this interview. She talks about how drama school doesn’t teach actors to deal with interest in their private lives. That’s a common complaint. I think most actors are thrilled with initial fame before reality sets in. What I find more worthy of discussion is Natalie’s sensitivity about her looks. This is completely understandable because actors are under such a microscope. Natalie was always taunted for her “lopsided mouth,” and it remains an issue in her career. Her publicist even told her to stop “doing that smile.” Really? That’s awful. Natalie’s wry smirk-smile is one of the coolest things I’ve seen on a red carpet. She’s a natural badass, but she’s not immune to criticism:

Criticism of her smile: “It really bugs me the way people criticize how actors look. We’re not models. Models exist. I get accused of having a haughty smugness. I have a lopsided mouth. I can’t help it. I was born with it. It looks as if I am smirking. I have had my publicist tell me, ‘Don’t do that smile on the red carpet.’ I’m, like, ‘That’s my smile.'”

Life as an actress is terrifying: “It’s not luck. You have a lot of heartache. The public has a misconstrued idea of how easy it is for an actor to get a job, especially if it is outside their casting remit. I danced until I was 16, so I hold my shoulders back and I’m reasonably articulate. Suddenly people think I can only play strong women. I’d love to play a really weak, pathetic, vulnerable woman, You’d be surprised how much of the industry would then turn and say, ‘Oh, Natalie Dormer can’t play that kind of role. She only plays queens and strong women.’ I’m meant to be a chameleon. This is why I was so happy to get The Hunger Games and run around with a shaved head and a semi-automatic rifle in a dystopian future.”

On interest in celebs’ private lives: “There is this sense of entitlement, of ownership, that you should know everything about everybody. They don’t sit you down at drama school and say, ‘OK, you wanna be an actor? You wanna hold the mirror up to nature? And, oh, by the way, the press and 50m people on Twitter will think they have the right to know the details of your private life.'”

Why GoT is popular:Sopranos in Middle-earth. It deals with all these human truths and absolutes at a safe distance of fantasy.”

[From The Sunday Times]

Natalie keeps her private life under wraps, mostly. She’s been engaged to Irish actor Anthony Byrne since 2011. They’ve been too busy to plan a wedding, so we’ll see what happens.

It’s terrible that Natalie has had to deal with so many rude attitudes about her infamous smile. She says one of her sisters has the same smile, and they’ve both been bullied for it since childhood. I think Natalie’s smirk is awesome! It sets her apart from the mile-wide grins that run throughout Hollywood. Or even worse, the open-mouthed Kris Jenners of the world. Keep on smirking, Nat.

Natalie Dormer

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet & WENN

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112 Responses to “Natalie Dormer on her ‘smirk’: ‘I’ve a lopsided mouth. I can’t help it’”

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  1. mkyarwood says:

    Lol, I feel you Nat! I’ve a lopsided mouth as well, and both my daughters inherited it. We all know everything and smirk about it 😛

  2. Leigh says:

    She’s fantastic.
    Loved her in The Tudors.

  3. GlimmerBunny says:

    I love her and her smirk! She was the best Anne Boleyn EVER. I prefer her with dark hair though.

  4. Size Does Matter says:

    She is such a badass. Love her and her lopsided smile.

  5. Lori says:

    I had assumed it was from lip injections that went wrong. Now I feel like a jerk.

  6. paola says:

    She does have a lopsided mouth but i find her incredibly beautiful and unique.
    She is great as Marjaery Tyrell and I can’t wait to see her in Mockinjay.
    I think I like her more than JLaw.

    • QQ says:

      LOL I’m now thinking that her Lopsided smirkiness is WHY we all watch GOT and feel Margaery is a Serious Game Player (NVM the fact that The Tyrells ARE in fact Playing some serious games! but in general there is a feeling on the Twitters about “This Badass bitch!!)

      • paola says:

        Exactly! That smirk makes her look as if she’s always mind planning some badass-bitch war game. love her even more now.

  7. SK says:

    Love this chick. Always happy to see her in any role!

  8. jinni says:

    Well even with this new info it still doesn’t change that her face just irks me in the same way that Keira Knightly’s jutting jaw/pout combo bothers me to the point of distraction in her movies . Which sucks for me because Keira is always being cast in period pieces, which are my favorite movies so I can’t avoid her.

  9. Etheldreda says:

    Natalie is gorgeous no matter what, but she looks so SO much better as a brunette. The blonde just washes her out and detracts from her unique features. And yes, I know she’s a ‘natural blonde’ but there is nothing natural about her hair colour now. I wish she’d go back to the colour she had in ‘The Tudors’.

    • Josefa says:

      I like her more as a blonde. It’s odd, because this usually works the other way round, but I feel brown hair ages her.

      • Etheldreda says:

        Interesting. I think you’re the first person I’ve heard who prefers her as a blonde!

        I think the blonde makes her features look rather generic. With the dark hair, she’s a unique beauty, but as a blonde, she’s just another starlet. Maybe a darker, champagne blonde would be OK, but that brassy colour she has now is quite harsh on her I think.

      • Luciana says:

        I like her as a platinum blonde and as a brunette. The only hair colour that doesn’t suit her is the one she uses to play Margaery (awful wig!!!).

      • HughJass says:

        I think the brown hair ages her too – which is a good thing in my opinion. She looked older in The Tudors than she does in GOT, appropriate for her characters.

      • Valerie says:

        I prefer her as a blonde as well. It’s more striking and I agree that brown hair ages her.

      • Josefa says:

        I hate that wig too. She should grow her hair longer and have them style it. The wig just doesn’t seem to fit her head, lol.

        I think having your hair age you can be good in certain cases, like with Swifty. With Natalie I just feel blonde hair suits her better. It must be those pinup vibes I get from her.

      • Luciana says:

        @Josefa At the moment half of her head is shaved 🙁

      • Josefa says:

        Oh, right. Well. I guess that will only make her wig look even worse on her head, lol. But whatever, I know Natalie is unhealthily sexy anyway.

    • Chinoiserie says:

      I think red hair would be her color.

  10. BengalCat2000 says:

    I think she’s stunning. I have a crooked smile as does my brother & I’m now starting to own it. F@ck the naysayers Natalie. Your face is unique and gorgeous!

  11. AlwaysConfused says:

    She’s one of my favorite actresses working today.

  12. allons-y alonso says:

    Love her

  13. Josefa says:

    I love her smirk! Natalie just has such a raw sex appeal. There’s a lot of pretty in Hollywood, Natalie is just really, really hot. And the smirk plays an important role in that.

    • Etheldreda says:


      Absolutely. That’s why I thought she was such a great choice to play Anne Boleyn. Anne, famously, was not considered to be a great beauty, but she had intelligence, charisma and sex appeal in spades. Men found her irresistible. Natalie has that same quality.

      Contrast her with another Natalie, the one who played Anne in the silly ”Other Boleyn Girl”. Portman is as close to a perfect classical beauty as you’re likely to find, but she has all the sex appeal and charisma of a slice of white bread. Really bad casting choice, but then that whole film was rubbish.

      • Tig says:

        She was amazing as AB in The Tudors, wasn’t she? I kept wishing they would re- write history and let her hook-up with Henry Cavill’s character- would a dream sequence have been so bad?? Ha ha!

      • LAK says:

        The other Boleyn girl book is fabulous. The film was silly, annoying and DOA.

    • Alexis says:

      Yes, this exactly! I’d watch her read the phonebook. She’s a good actress and has a very special charisma about her besides.

  14. lucy2 says:

    I’ve only seen her in a few things but I think she’s a really interesting actress.
    Kind of reminds me of Kaley Cuoco’s smirky smile too.

    Probably the reason drama school doesn’t teach how to be a celebrity is because it only happens to probably 0.001% of the students! But I get what she’s saying. There should be someone that helps people who pursue TV and film deal with the spotlight.

    • Esmom says:

      You took the words right out of my mouth about drama school. I sort of thought she was kidding, though, when she said it.

      As for someone who helps people deal with the spotlight, I assume that’s what keeps many therapists in LA employed, lol.

      Her crooked smile lament reminds me a little of Jessica Pare from Mad Men, who sadly seems to get tons of grief for her less than perfect teeth. With both women, I think those features really add to their overall charm and beauty.

    • sigh((s)) says:

      Drama schools don’t spend time on that because 99% aren’t going to need it. What they should spend more time on is marketing yourself, how to create your own opportunities, and the business side of things, ie agents, lawyers, contracts, fees, taxes et al.

  15. InvaderTak says:

    She looks like the human version of Lola from space jam.

    Edit: not a bad thing!

  16. Etheldreda says:

    ” She’s been engaged to Irish actor Anthony Byrne since 2011. ”

    I thought he’s a photographer?

    I do wonder about that ‘too busy to plan a wedding’ thing. Natalie’s rich enough to be able to hire a wedding planner if she wants a big do, or if not, a small wedding doesn’t really take much planning.

    Either way, she doesn’t shove her private life in our faces, so up to her what she does.

    • Algernon says:

      I’m not in a rush to get married and over the last couple months my fiancee and I have started telling people we’re too busy to plan a wedding right now. It won’t work forever, but for now it’s an acceptable reason and it stops people asking more intrusive questions. Perhaps that’s why Natalie Dormer and so many others use it as an excuse, too. It’s the simplest answer to what can be a complicated question.

  17. M.A.F. says:

    “Sopranos in Middle-earth. It deals with all these human truths and absolutes at a safe distance of fantasy.”-HA. That is one way to put it.

    I’m just happy she is one of the few female cast members who has yet to show her breasts. That is the one thing I’m already over with on that show, the female nudity and the sex. Especially the sex scenes, those get in the way of the story. So either show me more male nudes (and from the front) or don’t show me anything at all. I have breasts, I don’t need to see another woman’s breasts thank you.

    • celia says:

      She did, though…. When she attempted to seduce her first husband to bed. (That’s not too spoilery, I hope. Season one or two?)

    • Etheldreda says:

      Actually, one of the first things Natalie had to do on GoT was show us her boobs. But I agree with your point – it seems to be written into the contract of just about every adult female star that they have to get naked at least once, yet the men almost never do. Even in sex scenes when the woman is naked, the man will somehow manage to keep his pants buttoned up! So Westerosi men could procreate without getting naked? Interesting.

      And yes, it is all rather adolescent and sexist. Jiggly boobs and Westerosi waxes worked into every scene, but god forbid we see a hot naked man. I know women who’ve given up watching GoT for this very reason, and I don’t blame them.

      • Happyhat says:

        As far as I recall, it’s only Theon so far who’s been totally naked, and that was Season One. I swear I would have remembered if anyone else had been totally naked…

      • Etheldreda says:

        Yes, and that was a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ kind of naked. Very different from the many scenes where women are naked, with the cameras lingering lovingly over them for ages.

        And believe me, I’d definitely remember if the Kingslayer was ever fully naked! I’ll bet he’s a fine swordsman….!

      • Josefa says:

        Hodor appeared naked in season 1 too, though I imagine your brains supressed that memory.

      • sigh((s)) says:

        That scene (spoiler alert!) where Littlefinger is extrapolating with the prostitutes in the background practicing their professional skills was so distracting! He’s giving out major plot points but I didn’t hear a bit of it with all the moaning. Glad I read the book first, would’ve been completely lost.

      • Etheldreda says:

        I HATED that scene. If I want to watch bad lesbo pr0n – and I don’t – I’ll do it on my own time. Could you imagine a scene where two male prostitutes get it on while an older, fully clothed woman drones away in the background? It would never happen.

        It’s funny how GoT likes to think of itself as so taboo-busting in so many ways, but when it comes to sex, it displays the same old banal sexist cliches.

  18. Jlee says:

    Having JLaw and herself in the same film is going to be smoking…

  19. Tiffany27 says:

    I actually never noticed the smile until this article. Werk Margaery!

  20. Arya Martell says:

    My husband has a massive crush on Natalie in GoT…which makes me jealous as his crush is still alive and mine (Pedro Pascal) is not. I saw her in The Tudors and I loved her then too. The show was empty without her.

    She’s different and unique and I really do hope we see a lot more of her in the coming years.

  21. Lilacflowers says:

    But will she be back on Elementary this season?

  22. Jade says:

    Of course they won’t teach you how to handle fame. You reach that fame first and then hire a publicist to navigate the game.

  23. Virgilia Coriolanus says:

    I do love Natalie. She’s one of those averagely pretty, yet stunning and sexy all at the same time women….and she’s always amazing in whatever she does.

    And is it just me, or does she look young, really young? I thought she was in her early twenties at one point….

  24. Veronica says:

    I love her smirk! That’s a shame she gets so much flak for it, but it shouldn’t surprise me. We’re a culture that likes its women warm and welcoming, not looking like we know something you don’t.

    (Admittedly, it does give incite a bit of wickedness in her appearance and she’ll have to accept that she’ll have to play characters accordingly. Somebody once suggested her for Wonder Woman, and I laughed. No, never. It could never work. Emma Frost, though? She’d kick January Jones portrayal to the curb.)

    • Josefa says:

      It’s weird, because I don’t think Natalie has any degree of bitchface. I see her smirk as playfully evil. Like a demonic pin-up girl.

      When I think of not looking warm and welcoming I think of Emily Blunt (love her, but even when she smiles she looks upset) or Kristen Stewart (who always looks grumpy).

      • Veronica says:

        I don’t think it’s read as bitchface so much as…smirky, arrogant? Playfully evil is a good way to describe it. Women are supposed to be warm and welcoming, but also innocuous. Submissive. That sort of thing. Her face is the kind that wears sexy well, but she’ll never get cast as the girl next door.

  25. Someonestolemyname says:

    Love her, she’s a good actress and stands out of the crowd. She’s beautiful, I love that smirk.

  26. Green Is Good says:

    Team Smirk. It keeps people guessing!

  27. KA says:

    I loved/hate Natalie while she was on the Tudors. Hated the smug face, but loved that she did it so well. I agree with previous commenters, I don’t like the blonde hair. It washes her features out. An average looking woman like Goopy Paltrow would look mousey as a brunette. But women like Natalie and Jennifer Lawrence (Yes, I don’t like Jennifer as a blonde) features stand out quite nicely with brunette hair.

  28. Annie says:

    Smirk on! I find it enchanting.

  29. Kris says:

    Thanks for covering this! All this time I thought she was just snooty. She really doesn’t come off that way in the interview.

  30. mel says:

    Drama school does not prepare you for the intrusion into your private life? Really? Drama school is not there to prepare you for fame (and the millions that go along with it) – its a ridiculous comment in this day and age when she knew good and well what she was getting into. Instant dislike.

    • Addison says:

      Agreed. I would think anyone her age knows that the famous have their lives talked about all the time. It’s not like this is a new thing. And the more technology there is the more ways there are to have your life intruded upon. I have been saying for years and years how glad I am to not be famous, I don’t think I would like all that stuff so I don’t understand how some people purposely call the papps. It’s very weird to me.

    • Etheldreda says:

      I thought the same thing. Drama school is to teach you how to act, not how to deal with people slagging off your smile on Twitter.

      Besides, it would be giving students false hopes to encourage them to think they might be really famous. As someone said above, in reality only a miniscule percentage of drama students ever achieve fame. For every Natalie Dormer, there are hundreds of others playing bit parts in half empty theaters and only getting by because they have another job. I bet these people would love if their main concern was the ‘pressures of fame’!

      • Luciana says:

        I don’t think she’s being arrogant. She has struggled to get roles and has widely spoken about it. After “Casanova”, she couldn’t get any role. Finally, after a year, she got Anne Boleyn. She is not Kristen Stewart who snaps her fingers and gets a role (Kristen’s words not mines). I think Natalie meant that now she is in a huge tv show like GOT and people start to recognize her, it’s weird. We all know fans are demanding. They want to know everything, every little dirty detail and secret. They are actors, performers, not reality show stars who are willing to share their private lives.

      • Etheldreda says:

        Oh, I wasn’t implying she’s being arrogant at all.

        My point was that, given that only a tiny proportion of students at drama school ever get close to being celebrities, teaching students about the pitfalls of fame really isn’t a priority. 99% of graduates will be much more concerned with paying the bills than worrying about what people are saying about them on Twitter.

        And given that Natalie was only 24 when she got cast in ‘The Tudors’ and has been working in high profile projects ever since, I don’t think she’s ever struggled that much to find roles.

      • Luciana says:

        Sorry, @etheldreda, I was replying the whole comment (mel’s) not ours in particular. My bad!

        I think her IMBD isn’t quite impressive. Her highest role up to date is the one in HG and it’s not even a big role…supporting at most. She is one of the many actresses in GOT. The standouts are the khaleesi ( I don’t remember the actress name Emlia something) and Lena Heady. She’s been around, she’s very talented and she could be up to the parts played by Keira Knightley or Carey Mulligan but she is not. She needs an “Amy Dunne” role. So far she is “the blonde”, “the girl”, “the girlfriend”….

  31. micki says:

    I won’t change her lopsided smile for anything. Make her face unique and instantly recognisable. I have problems sometimes to keep all the pretty young actresses from one another.

  32. Sayrah says:

    Love her. 6 whole months to season 5? Ugh

  33. bns says:

    She’s gorgeous.

  34. HBIC says:

    Didn’t know she had a lopsided smile… I always thought she just had a weird smirk on her face. It’s cool, though… our imperfections are what give us character, and what make us different!

    And I enjoy her performance as Margaery Tyrell on Game of Thrones… can’t wait to see her face off with Cersei next season!

  35. Luciana says:

    I am her biggest fan since The Tudors. I couldn’t continue watching it after her death. I am so happy she’s finally getting press and good roles. Natalie’s really talented and versatile. Her smile is her trademark.

  36. Jess says:

    I don’t know who she is but her smile is adorable and unique, how terrible that she’s criticized for that!

  37. Algernon says:

    I think she’s gorgeous, and her quirky smile is a big part of it. I have a small, heart-shaped mouth and even when I feel like I’m doing a wide smile, my lips barely quirk up. People tell me to smile different/more all the time, but I can’t help how my lips are shaped and how they move. I’ve really appreciated Natalie’s smirk because now I can point to a celebrity who also has an “unusual” smile when I need to prove to people that not everyone is born capable of doing a big ole Joker grin on command.

  38. Koala says:

    Forever girl crushing on Natalie. I watched the Tudors as it came out and I fell in love with her as Anne Boleyn. She has this way of making you fall for Anne– my heart broke for her when she struggled and rooted for her to triumph. And I LOVE her smile. There are entire Tumblr pages dedicated to Natalie Dormer’s smile. I hope she knows most people find it charming.

  39. Lucy says:

    She’s absolutely fabulous.

  40. Nicole says:

    Love her face.

  41. notlistening says:

    I adore her, she should be a much bigger star.

  42. murphy says:

    Ha I love that she’s always the Queen. Loved her in Tudors.

  43. FingerBinger says:

    I didn’t notice her mouth was lopsided until she pointed it out.

  44. Josefa says:

    Judging by the ammount of comments here I think it’s safe to say you should start covering Natalie more often! There seems to be an unanimous consensus, she’s awesome.

    I really hope her career explodes. I deffo think she’s got “it”. She’s talented, charismatic and hot as hell. As the saying goes, girls want to hang out with her and guys (and me!) want to bang her. Go Naty!

  45. Dara says:

    She was blonde in the first movie I saw her in – Casanova, with Heath Ledger – so I’ll always picture her as a blonde. She completely stole the movie from Sienna Miller, I barely remember Sienna was in the thing, but I’ll remember Natalie’s performance forever.

    Natalie consistently stays in the top 5 of my Awesome Chick list – and I love the badass smirk!

  46. Sway says:

    One of my favorite actresses – lovely, down-to-earth, intelligent, sensitive, incredibly talented and charismatic. I’ve watched all her movies and I’m a fan for life.
    As for her “smirk” and “lopsided mouth”, I think it’s her most interesting, sexiest feature. Thanks to it, she has an incredibly expressive face and countenance, she can charm anyone.
    And she’s gorgeous, by the way.

    P.S. She is the only Anne Boleyn that in my opinion managed to convey the character of England’s most famous queen with dignity, grace and huge amount of authenticity. The final scene of Natalie in “The Tudors” – the scaffold scene – will haunt me forever.
    (I still cringe at the memory of Natalie Porter’s rendition of the same scene. Weepy, overly dramatic and overall gross performance.)

    • Luciana says:

      Natalie Portmas was terribly miscasted as Anne Boleyn. Awful choice. The whole movie was a hot mess from the start. What were they thinking?!

  47. Artimis says:

    She is sexiness personified!! Hot day-aamm! 😀

  48. Paige says:

    Loved her as AB as well. One of my favorite scenes from the Tudors, is when she catches Henry wenching with JS. I didn’t have a problem with NP as AB. Natalie has a gorgeous smile.

  49. Janet says:

    She had a small part in “The Counselor” and she was excellent in that film.

  50. Godwina says:

    Good for her for telling people to stop policing her physiognomy. UGH. Whether or not she looks good/cool/appropriate is beside the point, anyway. IT’S HER FACE.

    People. The worst.

    Rock on, ND.

  51. kim says:

    “oh, acting is so hard!” “the sheer heartache of being typecast as a strong, beautiful woman!” between my thumb and forefinger is THE SMALLEST VIOLIN IN THE WORLD, and on it i play a sob song for you.