Claire Foy Reveals She Had a Breakdown at Age 23

Claire Foy is on the cover of the latest issue of PorterEdit, out now.

Here’s what the 34-year-old actress had to say…

On co-star Matt Smith being paid more than her in The Crown: “I was deeply hurt by it, because I’d been working on that show for two years. I loved everybody on it. And then I realized, there’s been a big, fat, dirty secret that nobody’s ever talked about. But then there was also that thing [of being] an inadvertent spokesperson. Why did it have to be me? I could have said nothing. And I think everyone would have preferred that. But I thought, if I do that, I will be cheating myself and all the other women I know.”

On making peace with the drama in her life: “A long time ago, I gave up on the idea of happiness. I think you can be incredibly, deliriously happy one minute, and be miserable the next. […] I’ve realized that my life is quite dramatic, and that’s OK. I’m really happy, but… I’m not sorted, at all. I don’t expect any moment to last.”

On her struggles with mental health: “When I was 23, I had a breakdown. I didn’t sleep or eat for a month. It was awful. My life had changed. I felt overwhelmed. I was on stage at the time and working, and I’d just got a really big job [the lead in the BBC’s Little Dorrit]. I just couldn’t cope.”

On how the arrival of her daughter, Ivy Rose, in 2015, helped her to take control of her life: “Having her made me think, ‘You need to sort your life out.’ I just didn’t have to live like that. It was unbearable. I was sick of myself.”

For more from Claire, visit

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