The Crown's Claire Foy reveals she had a 'breakdown' in her 20s

The Crown star Claire Foy reveals she suffered a ‘mental breakdown’ in her twenties and admits sharing her feelings ‘changed’ her life

Claire Foy has revealed she suffered a mental breakdown when she was in her twenties, admitting that sharing her feelings with her friends ‘changed’ her life.

The Crown actress, 37, explained that she didn’t think she needed any help and was convinced she could ‘sort it out’ herself, saying some of her attitude stemmed from her upbringing.

She said she realised that she needed to seek help when she was in her mid-twenties and her sister told her that she needed to see a ‘professional’. 

Mental health: Claire Foy, 37, spoken about suffering a mental breakdown when she was in her twenties, admitting that sharing her feelings with her friends ‘changed’ her life

Opening up on what she went through on the podcast Reign with Josh Smith, she explained: ‘I basically was one of those people who was very much – I think it’s a lot to do with my upbringing – like I don’t need help. 

‘I can sort it out myself. It’s not that big of a problem.

‘In my mid-20s, I sort of had a breakdown, and I remember my sister saying, ‘I can’t help you. You need to see someone professional’.

‘That was the first time that I sort of went, “the problem is bigger than me being able to figure it out”.’

Claire, who is currently starring in BBC’s A Very British Scandal, said that opening up to her friends about her feelings has ‘changed’ her life. 

Struggles: The Crown actress, 37, said she didn’t think she needed any help during her ‘breakdown’ and was convinced she could ‘sort it out’ herself

She added: ‘But for me, definitely in my early 30s to now, the thing has been opening up to people like my friends.

‘I know it sounds silly but I had never really understood that love and protection was by being honest and being awful, like showing your worst side of yourself and then having someone go, “oh yeah, me too”.’

In the same interview, Claire admitted she didn’t feel comfortable with the level of success she had following her stint on Netflix‘s The Crown.

She portrayed Queen Elizabeth II in the first two seasons of the royal drama, with her stint earning her a plethora of accolades including two Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

However, Claire confessed that she felt that she didn’t ‘deserve’ such accolades and said of her success: ‘I wish I had been able to enjoy it more.’

‘Uncomfortable’: Claire Foy has admitted she didn’t feel comfortable with the level of success she had following her stint on Netflix’s The Crown (pictured with her Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy in 2018)

She explained: ‘I think it makes me feel uncomfortable, is what I’ve learned.

‘Not that going to the parties and lovely people being really nice to you is amazing and is wonderful for people to enjoy things that you’ve done, but I felt uncomfortable with it because I basically, fundamentally didn’t think I deserved it.

‘So that’s no fun, is it? That’s not nice because basically you just feel like it’s even more hollow, I suppose.’

The TV star went on to say that she ‘wishes’ she ‘had been able to enjoy it more’, but noted: ‘But I don’t think, in all honesty, I don’t think I ever would’ve done. I think I just don’t know whether that’s necessarily in my character.’

‘Success in the way that I’ve had it, which is because people say that something you have done has been worthwhile, is very difficult unless you think it’s been worthwhile, then it’s not really a success.

Success: The actress, 37, portrayed Queen Elizabeth II in the first two seasons of the royal drama, with her stint earning her a plethora of accolades including two Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards

‘It’s just a very confusing sequence of award shows where you can’t really feel like you’re there and also it’s transient, especially in my industry – you know, it’s over before it’s begun.’

Claire suggested that due to how she felt, she wouldn’t necessarily class herself as a ‘success’, despite the numerous awards she received for her role as the monarch.  

She said: ‘Success in the way that I’ve had it, which is because people say that something you have done has been worthwhile is very difficult unless you think it’s been worthwhile, then it’s not really a success.

‘It’s just a very confusing sequence of award shows where you can’t really feel like you’re there and also it’s transient, especially in my industry, you know it’s over before it’s begun.’

Candid: However, speaking about her triumphs on the podcast Reign with Josh Smith , Claire confessed that she felt that she didn’t ‘deserve’ such accolades and said of her success: ‘I wish I had been able to enjoy it more’ (pictured with her Best Actress Golden Globe in 2017)

Claire played The Queen in the first two series of the Netflix show, before the role was overtaken by Olivia Colman, 47, to reflect the aging monarch.

Imelda Staunton, 65, will play Her Majesty for the final two seasons of The Crown. 

Claire’s comments come after she revealed she was ‘jaded’ and ‘at the end of my rope’ before she took a three-year break from acting. 

‘The Crown’ star announced in January 2019 that she was taking a ‘completely self-indulgent’ hiatus in order to spend quality time with her young daughter Ivy Rose, now six, whom she has with ex-husband Stephen Campbell Moore.

However, in a candid interview with The Sunday Times, she admitted she suffered from serious burnout and was forced to turn down jobs because she was ‘exhausted’.

Honest: ‘Not that going to the parties and lovely people being really nice to you is amazing and is wonderful for people to enjoy things that you’ve done, but I felt uncomfortable with it because I basically, fundamentally didn’t think I deserved it’

She said: ‘It can get to a point where your body gives up. ‘I couldn’t keep going job after job.’ The ‘First Man’ star – who got divorced in 2018 – also suggested she and her fans would probably find it ‘boring’ if she had carried on.

 She confessed: ‘It was going to get boring.’ When asked who for, she replied: ‘Everybody! At some point, somebody will say, ‘We don’t care about you anymore.’

‘And boring for me too — I was quite jaded. I turned down work and it’s not like I had s***loads of money. I was exhausted, at the end of my rope with lots of stuff and just went, ‘Goodbye! I can’t do this anymore.’

Claire is firmly back in the game with a number of roles, including the 2021 biographical film ‘The Electrical Life of Louis Wain’, in which she stars as the titular artist’s wife, Emily Richardson-Wain.

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