Tuesday 11 December 2018

Jessie Buckley on life after I’d Do Anything: ‘I really hit that low point again’

The actress and singer has spoken frankly about battling depression.

Jessie Buckley attending the 2017 Olivier Awards (Chris J Ratcliffe/PA)
Jessie Buckley attending the 2017 Olivier Awards (Chris J Ratcliffe/PA)

By Keiran Southern, Press Association

Jessie Buckley suffered “really badly” from depression when she first moved to London.

Buckley, who has starred in two of the BBC’s biggest shows of the last two years – War and Peace and Taboo – revealed she battled mental illness as a teenager.

Aged 18, she applied for the BBC show I’d Do Anything, which followed Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search for a Nancy for his West End version of Oliver!.


Buckley – who returns to our screens this Sunday in a BBC1 adaption of Wilkie Collins’ novel The Woman in White – auditioned for I’d Do Anything after failing to get into the Guildford School of Drama.

She admits at the time she was taking a year out of school after suffering from depression.

The 28-year-old, who grew up in Killarney, County Kerry, told the Radio Times: “That age, it’s a funny time in life, becoming a woman.

“I suppose my way of channelling that was singing, and that was a saviour in many ways. I felt like I needed it. I was sad. I was really sad.

“The adrenaline rush of being in that show got me through and for a little while I could forget all [the sadness], but after the show finished, I really hit that low point again.

“I was in London, in a big city by myself, and still not well because I’d just put a plaster over it.”

Buckley told the magazine she had therapy to help her through the depression.

The actress also voiced her support for the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, as well as speaking on her two-year relationship with her previous boyfriend, the actor James Norton.

Olivier Awards 2016 – London

She said: “Obviously [talking about him] isn’t something I’m comfortable with. I’m private. I can’t help who I fall in love with. It’s about the person. He’s a great guy, and we’re great friends, and I’m really grateful it happened.”

She also revealed a permanent move to Hollywood isn’t on the cards, although she does have an American agent.

She said: “I’ve no interest in doing a Marvel film, for example. I don’t think I’d ever get asked, anyway. No one’s going to ask me to get into a leather catsuit any time soon, are they? I’ll be a wonderful woman, but I won’t be Wonder Woman!”

– Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times magazine.

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