In “Burnt,” Miller plays Helene, a chef whom Adam (Cooper) recruits to his team. The actress describes her character: “She's a chef and a single mother, juggling her life. When Adam is assembling his brigade, a friend tips him off about an interesting chef at the Delaunay. He tastes her dish – peppe e cacio – which is a simple dish but difficult to get exactly right. It's delicious and he asks her to join him. She is initially reluctant but eventually becomes an important member of his brigade.
All of the cast members put in long hours training in kitchens during preproduction in London. Director John Wells singles out Sienna Miller for special praise. “Sienna was a real trouper in the kitchen. She had one of the more difficult stations – the fish – to work. She spent a tremendous amount of time with Marcus in his kitchen and throughout the kitchen shoot she stayed in there and kept at it.”
Says Sienna, “Marcus was tough on us, treating us as if we worked in his kitchen, not as if we are actors; no mollycoddling. Marcus trained alongside Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White and their management style comes from the military: strict and hierarchical. In the kitchen, Marcus commands huge respect.”
“My technique is much improved after cooking fish for weeks on end,” she notes. “It's very taxing and needs mental focus. Fish is all about timing – even a few seconds can really matter. I now have much more appreciation of how a kitchen runs. The hardest part of filming was dealing with the intensity of the heat in a high octane environment.” She adds, “Marcus also explained to us the etiquette of eating in Michelin star restaurants, to add to your enjoyment of the meal.”
“Burnt” will open November 4 in theaters from Pioneer Films.
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