Kristin Scott Thomas used her family to prepare for Military Wives role

Kristin Scott Thomas used her family to prepare for Military Wives role

Dame Kristin Scott Thomas drew on family experiences for her role in 'Military Wives'.

'The English Patient' star plays Kate, whose husband is serving in Afghanistan, in the film, which tells the story of a group of women forming a choir whilst their husbands are at war.

The story is inspired by Gareth Malone's BBC documentary which followed a choir of military wives.

Kristin's step-brother served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and she was able to ask them about their experiences to get an idea for her character.

Speaking to the Daily Mail newspaper's Baz Bamigboye column, Kristin said: "I would ring them up and go, 'Does it happen like this?' or, 'Like that?' They were very helpful."

The 59-year-old actress spent much of her childhood surrounding by the military, as her father Simon was a pilot, although he died in a flying accident when Kristin was just five years old.

She recalled: "I spent a lot of my childhood on what they called The Patch, the cul-de-sac, like the ones we see in the film, where we lived. It was an RAF base up in Yorkshire. My father was training RAF pilots."

Kristin admits she relished playing the part of Kate, who forms the choir along with Lisa (Sharon Horgan) but is struggling to keep herself together with her husband (Greg Wise) serving at war.

She said: "It's always interesting to have the obstacle. Her behaviour is creating the obstacle, and she's lonely. It's lonely at the top."

Kristin also enjoyed the experience of working on an ensemble film with plenty of women.

She explained: "You did feel a kind of camaraderie and sisterhood, which was really nice.

"Playing the romantic lead has its moments, and I've done some films that have been incredible - like The English Patient. But it's fun doing ensemble pieces like this one, 'Four Weddings And A Funeral' and 'Gosford Park'. Ones where you can really have a great time."