British actress Natasha Richardson found great comfort working with her mother Vanessa Redgrave and aunt Lynn Redgrave on the latest Merchant Ivory movie, because she found the experience a terrible strain.

Spending months in "dirty" Shanghai, China, shooting THE WHITE COUNTESS left the actress desperately missing her husband, Liam Neeson, and kids, so she was delighted to have her family around her during her lowest moments.

She explains, "It was a joy to just work with them. The added bonus was that it was such a tough shoot, really difficult, so between the three of us there was a great sense of comradeship and 'backs against the wall,' and we shared a sense of humour.

"We'd go back to the hotel at the end of the day and drink bottles of wine and talk about the next day's work, so it was great."

The actress admits the whole shooting experience in Shanghai was very frustrating and stressful: "It made for quite an ordeal with the language barrier - it took, like 45 minutes, to make yourself understood.

"The locations weren't exactly the most hygienic places in the world. There were no creature comforts. There were two very beatup trailers in the whole of China and we had them in this movie. My mother and I didn't even get one and so it was tough."