Mark Rylance talks to late stepdaughter

The theatre star pulled out of a planned performance at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in July (12) when filmmaker Nataasha van Kampen, 28, lost her life after suffering a brain haemorrhage on a trans-Atlantic flight.

Rylance has now opened up about the family tragedy for the first time, revealing how he is dealing with his loss.

He tells Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper, “That ability to tell when your imagination is receiving something and your imagination is creating something – that’s a very subtle difference. I’m aware since Nataasha’s died of conversations with her, which obviously I have a lot of times. I’m aware sometimes in those of when I’m making up the conversation and sometimes I’ll have a sense of, ‘Oh, why did you say that?’

“In my imagination she’ll do or say something that is very, very resonant, so I will feel from that my faith that her soul is still existing somewhere in the universe will be confirmed. Then I’ll be doubtful that that’s what I want it to be. So I swing between doubts and confidence.”

He is also convinced the grief has added a new dimension to his current role in a production of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, adding, “One’s life has changed, so one brings a different thing to it… I have now a more concrete experience of what that (grieving process) is.”