Annabelle:  I did read that.  Since the role came to you without notice, however, how did you prepare for it?

Olivia:  We had no time to prepare.  Two weeks after I heard of it, I was on the set.  They were trying to get the film made in time for her beatification, you see.

Annabelle:  And did they?

Olivia:  Yes, they screened it last year at the Vatican.  I went to the ceremony, sat with all the missionaries.  And I finally got the Pope’s blessing.

Annabelle:  What was that like?

Olivia:  Oh, lovely!  I did a film called “The Jewelers Shop,” written by Karol Wotyla, years ago, before he was Pope John Paul II.  So it was a great thing to receive his blessing.  My mother was a devout Catholic.  I wish she had been here to see it.

Annabelle:  You clearly identify with Mother Teresa’s calling.

Olivia:  Oh, yes.  I’ve always had a great love for God.  Although I’m not really Catholic, I respect it.  It’s whatever gets you through your life.  [Mother Teresa’s] mandate came on a train ride to Darjeeling.  [But she] wasn’t this spiritual person, talking to God all the time.  She’d role up her sleeves and get right in there.  How beautiful is that?  Everything is the will of God.  My mother used to say, “Just relax.  What is meant to come will come.  Just surrender to the Lord.”  I used to say, “Oh, mummy, you’re such a preacher.”  But I’ve become my mother!

Annabelle:  We don’t hear a lot about Olivia Hussey in the media these days – certainly not in the tabloids.  Yet you’ve acted with some of the greatest names in film. 

Olivia:  I don’t do a lot of publicity.  And I don’t work that much – only when I want to do something. 

Annabelle:  Well, I feel like you really got this part.

Olivia:  I really believe that there was a part of her endorsing me.  I got deathly ill from the moment I arrived in Sri Lanka [where most of the film was made].  I had a throat infection, an ear infection, a chest infection – you name it.  There were two doctors on the set, I was taking eight antibiotics, and I don’t even know how I went to work.  My ears were ringing and I was so ill I truly don’t know how I did it.  Every day, I thought, “I don’t think I can even leave the trailer,” but then I would medicate and feel this inner strength and calm.  I had to tell myself, “Olivia, you’re just an actress.  You’ve got fresh water, food and an air-conditioned trailer.  They lived on the streets.”  Then I felt this inner light coming in [and I would get up and go film].  I was very sad when the whole thing finished.  I wanted to wear that sari for awhile longer!  I would love for them to make a television series, so I could play her for awhile longer.

Annabelle:  Did you go to India?

Olivia:  Yes.  I went and met Sister Nirmala [Mother Teresa’s successor].  While I was there, I saw the plight of the dogs in India.  So with my girlfriends, we decided to start a mobile hospital there.  I know people are more important – of course they are.  But the dogs in India are everywhere.  [It’s a huge problem.]