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The independent film was another opportunity for Beckinsale to work with Christian Bale, her Prince of Jutland co‑star.She found their sex scene awkward because she knew Bale well: "If it was a stranger, it would have been easier." While Frances Mc Dormand's performance as Bale's mother was widely praised, Beckinsale received negative reviews."I just felt a bit like I was shot through a cannon." Also in 2008, Beckinsale starred in Nothing but the Truth as a journalist who refuses to reveal her source.The film, co‑starring Vera Farmiga and Matt Dillon, was inspired by the case of Judith Miller.1995 also saw Beckinsale's first professional stage appearance as Nina in The Seagull at Theatre Royal, Bath. "You shouldn't necessarily like Emma," Beckinsale has said of her character.
Beckinsale was initially considered too young, but was cast after she wrote a pleading letter to the director. He's the most outrageously talented person I've ever met." Beckinsale next starred in an ITV adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma, playing Emma to Mark Strong's Mr Knightley and Samantha Morton's Harriet Smith.Holden noted that "the most satisfying of the four-lead performances belong to the British cast members, Ms. Northam, who are better than their American counterparts at layers of emotional concealment," adding that each beat of Beckinsale's performance "registers precisely." Andrew Sarris of The New York Observer asserted that she "comes close to capturing the sublimity of Maggie, despite the obvious fact that no movie can capture the elegant copiousness of James’ prose." Beckinsale rose to fame in 2001 with a leading role in the war film Pearl Harbor as a nurse torn between two pilots, played by Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett. You just never get the chance to do that." Director Michael Bay initially had doubts about casting the actress: "I wasn't sure about her at first..wore black leather trousers in her screen test and I thought she was a little nasty..was easy to think of this woman as a slut." She felt grateful that she had not had to deal with such criticism at a younger age: "If I had come on to a movie set at [a younger] age and someone had said, 'You're a bit funny-looking, can you go on a diet? I just didn't have the confidence to put that into perspective at the time." Pearl Harbor received negative reviews.