Films and (the lack of) food

Empty coffee cups in films and television. One of my biggest peeves, and I get peeved fairly often.

I love films, I work in an independent cinema, I’ve been in a few, and nothing gets me more hacked off than an actor carrying an obviously empty paper cup. I LOVED the US remake of The Killing, but the rage which bubbles in my black heart when I see such fine actors as Mireille Enos and Joel Kinneman forced to mime a sip of coffee makes me want to do my very own killing.

We covered eating and drinking in the first year of drama school, even the kids in Jurassic Park nailed it with a table full of desserts and a kitchen full of velociraptors. It’s not rocket science is it, filling a cup with enough water to weight it down? If the actor can’t cope with a little sip of water now and again, then it’s perhaps time to de-Hollywood their diets.

Leonardo DiCaprio ate a bison’s heart in The Revenent and he’s a vegetarian!

I’m not advocating getting through an entire roast for each take of a scene, but surely a small mouthful of food or a small sip of water isn’t going to kill anyone. Perhaps the director is of the mind that if we are watching the liquid level in the cup then the show isn’t exciting enough, but if you’re chucking millions of pounds at sets then throw a couple of quid towards edible props. Leonardo DiCaprio ate a bison’s heart in The Revenent and he’s a vegetarian! This is an extreme (but fairly badass) example, and one which begs the question as to why several people around a dinner table can’t eat a single morsel of food. Brad Pitt got through roughly 10,000 calories in Se7en, so let’s see the cast of Doctors tucking into a Greggs pasty once in a while in between shifts.

Perhaps this could be a sponsorship opportunity worth of Simon Cowell and his everlasting Pepsi on America’s Got Talent. Let’s have the cast of X-Men heartily slurping a grande soy macchiato before looking down the camera lens with a cheeky wink, before flying off to save the world. Or maybe Finding Dory could feature her snacking on an ice-cream cone dropped by a hapless beach-goer, who delivers a killer line to camera about the damage to the earth’s coral reefs. Just a thought.

However they do it, let’s just do it. Let’s all chip in and make sure our beloved actors never have to revisit day 1 of GSCE drama and mime a plateful of food and cup of tea. A quid each should do it. Let’s get a family sized hamper of tea bags delivered to LA and get our screens (and their cups full) of decent English Breakfast, instead of the void in my heart where a lovely brew should be.



This month has been a bit of a blur.

Work has taken over, and despite my best efforts to eat a balanced diet, or indeed to actually make time to eat at all, I’ve been compiling a list of food which a person can eat without offending the people you share a work space with.

My shifts are anti-social to say the least, so mealtimes are basically just times throughout the day when I put food in my face. I rarely sit down to eat without a computer keyboard catching my crumbs. I am a leading mind in the field of snack research, and I have every intention of completing my PhD very soon.

My first tip is nutritious and mysterious, both qualities I prefer in my elevenses.

The granola pot is your friend. Do not be afraid of its texture or taste. I spent 33 years in its absence and what a waste of a life that was. Imagine, if you will, hiking through the Peak District, head low, tongue dragging on the forest floor. Every piece of bark, nut, seed and deer turd sticks to your palette like bluebottles on flypaper, except it tastes a bit of yoghurt. That is a granola pot. Go nuts, eat nature. You’re welcome.

My second recommendation is slightly less rural, based instead upon the rigours of inner-city living in 2016. The mighty bagel is very cool at the moment, regularly featuring in the fashion mags in the hands of Class A celebs.

My secret tip is chocolate spread. I don’t even care, judge me like your Grandma would, but there it is. Get the Nutella out and get your blood sugar working for you. Your metabolism and carb-lust will thank me, I promise. If you’re worried about nutritional content then this might not be the column for you. In fact this probably isn’t the column for anyone who enjoys food.

My last tip (yeah whatever, I only have 3, I’m not Willy Wonka) is beetroot. Honestly, anything that turns your wee pink is fine by me. It’s healthy, unusual in colour and taste, and a great talking point if you are ever saddled with a boring colleague by your side. No one wants to discuss beetroot. They WILL leave. It doesn’t smell so no one gets offended, and if you work late into the evening like me you’ll have a ready supply of lip stain and blusher should yours have worn off. I can’t fault beetroot. Apparently you can bake cakes with it too, but if you ask me you should probably just buy a normal cake and get over yourself.

And so concludes my nutritionally and culturally rich column. I feel we’ve all learned something important. Thanks for being with me on this journey.

Daisy Leverington