To Naoko Mori, the thought of a life in one place is unimaginable. Born in Japan and raised mostly in the U.K. and the U.S., the 46-year-old actress laughs as she confesses that her suitcases lie half-packed in her living room on a more-or-less permanent basis.

"It's like I have three tanks inside me: One each for Japan, the U.K. and the U.S., and I have to keep them all topped up. Sometimes I feel the need to fill my Japan tank, then I might feel a pull to go to the States. It keeps me in balance," she says.

This year, Mori was just about to move from London to the United States for a couple of years when the opportunity to play Lady Thiang in a new production of "The King and I" at the London Palladium put her plans on hold. She clearly relishes the part and seems full of energy despite the demanding schedule of performances.