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Claire Foy On ‘Breathe’ And Her Not-So Rapid Rise To Stardom

Culture

“I want to act for as long as I want to act for, but I don’t need it to exist”

One year ago, Claire Foy was a highly regarded British actress who had built a decade-long career by appearing in prestigious BBC miniseries like Little Dorrit, Upstairs Downstairs, and Wolf Hall. But then last November, Netflix dropped season one of The Crown, and Foy became a star seemingly overnight. Her steely yet delicate portrayal of a young Queen Elizabeth as she ascends to the throne was universally acclaimed, and culminated in a surprise victory at the Golden Globes. Now, Foy finds herself on the cover of magazines and at the top of casting directors’ wish lists, as evidenced by her recent casting as the new, and new-look, Lisbeth Salander in an upcoming adaptation, and as the female lead opposite Ryan Gosling in Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic First Man

Before The Crown returns for its second season this December, which will also be Foy’s last in the role, Foy can be seen in the romantic drama Breathe, which tells the true story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, a couple who is tested when Robin (Andrew Garfield) is diagnosed with polio at the age of 28. Foy was in New York earlier this week promoting the film, and we sat down to talk to her about the emotional journey she went on with this film, how The Crown changed her life, and the surreal experience of winning a Golden Globe.

After you shot the first season of The Crown, were you looking to film something during hiatus, and was it this film?
No, I definitely wasn't looking for anything. It was sort of a hiatus. I finished The Crown and then I had six months off and then we started again. So, the idea of squeezing in a job was my idea of hell. But then I read this script.

So you were still reading scripts? 
Well, no. It wasn't like I was getting scripts because there was such limited amount of time between starting the second series of The Crown. But I had worked with [Breathe director] Andy Serkis before, and we happened to bump into each other in a park in London, then I got sent the script. I was like, "I love Andy, so I'll read it." And then I read it and cried from beginning to end and was like, "Oh god, I should never have read it." And that was it.

Do you ever cry while watching your own films?
This film, yeah. If it was just a conventional story and it was entirely fiction, then I think I'd just watch it and go, "Eh." But because I know the family and I know the situation and I know these people are real people, it's impossible for me to watch it without just thinking of them, so I'm not crying at me, I'm just like, “God, I love them so much"

We’ve seen the role of a wife or girlfriend standing by their man at a time of great need many times, whether it’s Felicity Jones in Theory of Everything or more recently Tatiana Maslany in Stronger. Did you try and bring something new to that familiar archetype? 
No, because I think that if you try and put people into a bracket like that, it takes away any uniqueness or individuality at all. I don't think it's a type of woman or a breed of woman, I think there's just a tendency to think that women are strong or weak. I think that strength isn't just about being mentally strong or physically strong, it's about how much you can carry or how much you can bear and how much adversity you can face. And women are very, very good at that.

I’d like to see a story told the other way around.
That'd be interesting! When does that ever happen? [Laughs] Does that happen as well? That's why men and women are different. I have a child and I think that when you have a child you see very clearly the differences between the roles that mothers and fathers play in the life of the child. You can just see what they give and what their role is, you can just see it. 

Season two of The Crown is your last. Was it difficult to say goodbye to that character?
I don't think I've said goodbye to it yet. We've got so much publicity to do and so much to get done before then. 

Your rise to stardom seemed to have come out of nowhere for a lot people, but what they don’t realize is that you’ve been working for 10 years in Britain. Does it feel fast for you?
I think it has been very fast, in the sense that after The Crown came out, blah blah blah. But if it had happened when I was 23, then it would have been like—I had no backup. I think you've got to have faith in yourself when you're put in this scenario, where you're meeting people that you've always admired or you're working with people that you think are extraordinary. I think you've got to have some sort of understanding that, Okay, you may not think you actually belong here or you deserve to be here, but you've worked really hard. You may not change the world with your performance, but you'll do a good job. I think unless you've worked for that amount of time, you don't have that faith in yourself. 

Do you find it strange that suddenly everyone wants to work with you, even though you’ve been doing this for a while? 
Well, I think it's just that when one person says you're worth it, then everyone is like, "Oh my god." And I think this industry is so much about making money as well, and you can't underestimate that. I don't ever let that enter my brain. And I’m not thinking like, This is going to last, this is where I’m at and this is where I’m going to stay. As soon as you become not bankable, you hopefully are able to keep working. I want to act for as long as I want to act for, but I don't need it to exist, which is good.

You seem to be at a point in your career where auditioning is going to become a thing of the past. Is that something you’re looking forward to? Not having to audition?
I would always petition to audition. It makes me feel more comfortable. When I was growing up,  you'd look at people miscast in roles, so I think that you should get the right person for the part, not the biggest name. Because also, I would never want to feel like I only got a part because of that reason, that makes my skin crawl. I think it's really important to investigate it and wear it and see if it fits you, because nothing is worse than being on set and being like, "This isn't right, this is wrong."

What has been the biggest "holy crap" moment for you since The Crown premiered? 
Winning the Golden Globe. That was “holy crap.” We had no idea, really. We knew it got good reviews and people were watching it. We knew people in the industry were watching it because we got some lovely emails from colleagues and peers and stuff.  But I had no concept of the fact that anyone watched it in America or anything, because it's thousands of miles away. Then I went to L.A. and was doing press, and then went to the Golden Globes, and I was pretty much unrecognizable at the time, I had blond hair. But then when I won, it was a very surreal and slightly disconcerting moment.

Why was it disconcerting?
Because I don't know how you can prepare for anything like that. And I suddenly just wanted to go into a dark room and sit by myself and not have to talk to anyone. I was like, How should I feel about this

Did you watch your speech afterwards?
No, all I remember about it is going, "Why can't I regulate the sound of my voice?" And it reminded me awfully of speaking at a wedding or a funeral or something where your hands are shaking and you're like, "I'm not even nervous. guys, I'm really in control." The thing that I really remember is, I accepted it, walked off the stage. and just kept saying, "Oh my god, oh my god, OHMYGOD" really loudly. And then we won drama series and I was like, What the fuck is going on

And what can we expect from season two?
I think Elizabeth becomes incredibly set in her role and knows what she's doing. It's not like that's not interesting, but at that point you start to see she's at this point, so what does it do to the other people around her? 

Winston Churchill is gone?
Winston's gone and it breaks my heart.

Is The Crown essentially a love story between Elizabeth and Philip?
That's definitely a part of it, but it's bigger than that. It's about society, it's about politics. It's about how the monarchy is a reflection of the British people. It's about a relationship between the monarchy and the world. 

Did it change how you saw the monarchy?
Definitely, because I hadn't ever considered them to be human beings, as most people don't. I think that's why the show made people think about them differently, because they've been forced to go, well, if you take all the privilege away, and the importance and the power, who are they? And then you are forced to look at them as people and understand them and go, gosh, I feel sympathy for you, I feel fear for you. Which I think is why the show has gone so well. Well I don't know, I might be completely wrong.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Well, actually it's crocodile, but she looks out of this world so...

Winnie Harlow walked the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday on her way to a screening of Oh Mercy!, wearing a showstopping gown.

The sheer black dress featured green embroidery on the front and back, which Ralph and Russo confirmed was in the shape of a crocodile. She belted the dress with a black crocodile skin-like belt and finished the look off with some strappy heels. She didn't leave it at just that. For beauty, Harlow packed on full lids of sparkly purple eyeshadow. She kept her hair sleek and simple.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Though the brand says otherwise, as Game of Thrones fans, we'd like to think the embroidery is reminiscent of a dragon's skin. Not to mention, Harlow looks out-of-this-world beautiful in it.

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Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

That denim kimono!!

Marion Cotillard shut down the Cannes red carpet on Wednesday at a screening for Matthias Et Maxime. Instead of an extravagant gown that's expected of the event, Cotillard wore a matching black crop top and shorts. Despite wearing an outfit I typically don to a hot yoga class, she looks incredible. She completed the look with an oversized denim kimono, a statement necklace, and heeled booties.

Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

At first, I was drawn in by the crop top and hotpants duo, but, after looking closer at the kimono, it's clear that it's the real scene-stealer. The floor-length Balmain piece was decorated with artful rips and dragon motifs. I would like to live in it.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Let's all bow down to the Khaleesi of Cannes.

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Photo by Frazer Harrison / Getty Images.

"It doesn't make you weak to ask for help"

Singer Billie Eilish is continuing to open up about mental health, this time in a new PSA video in partnership with the Ad Council and Seize the Awkward.

In the video, Eilish insists that "it doesn't make you weak to ask for help." She doubles down on the importance of asking for help, and stresses the importance of friends and family being there when their close ones reach out and checking in on them as well. "You should be able to ask anyone for help, everyone has to help someone if they need it." According to Eilish, there have been times when someone reached out to her at the exact moment she needed it, and it helped.

It was particularly refreshing to see Eilish acknowledge that there are things she still doesn't know and has to learn about her mental health. At the very beginning of the video, the interviewer asks her to reflect on her mental health journey, and all Eilish can do is let out chortle. "I think when people hear, 'Remember to take care of your mental health,' they think that everyone else is, and that is not at all accurate," she admitted. "You know, for me I'm trying to learn still to make sure that I stay okay."

Check out the PSA below.

Billie Eilish On Mental Health & Friendship | Ad Council www.youtube.com

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Photograph via @kimkardashian.

"#NotOnMyMoodBoard"

Kim Kardashian has definitely been accused of borrowing a design now and then. But when Instagram influencer and Kardashian look-alike Kamilla Osman claimed the entrepreneur copied her birthday look for a Met Gala after-party, Kardashian was not going to let it fly—and shared plenty of photo evidence to shut down the claim.

Fashion industry watchdog Diet Prada first noticed Osman's claims on Instagram and shared side-by-side images of Kardashian's Cher-inspired outfit designed by Mugler and Osman's dress. "Never get confused with who 'inspires' who. They won't give you credit but they will copy," Osman wrote on her IG story. "I designed this dress for my birthday last year. Nobody had a dress like this was an original design."

Kardashian responded by posting the true inspiration behind her look: images of Cher, in similarly sparkly, plunging-neckline dresses and wigs, and of model Yasmeen Ghauri walking a Mugler show in the '90s. In fact, the only similarity between Osman's and Kardashian's looks is the bodycon mini-dress style, which the two are not the first to wear. Among the images, Kardashian included a blank slide with the hashtag "NotOnMyMoodBoard," making it clear that this was in response to Osman's claims.

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Screenshot via @KimKardashian Instagram Stories

Though I am with Kim on this one, Kardashian does have a history of co-opting other people's work. From being sued over her Kimoji app, to claims she copied makeup palettes and perfume bottle designs, to being accused of copying Naomi Campbell's entire style, it's far from the first (and probably, far from the last) time Kardashian's name will be mentioned like this.

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After delivered the perfect pep talk

When Lena Waithe took over as a guest host on Jimmy Kimmel Live, her first time ever as a late-night host, actress and friend Halle Berry knew exactly how to pump her up. After Kimmel's security guard Guillermo Rodriguez hit the "Berry Button" (a large button on the wall that says just that), Berry came running out in a backless tee and boyfriend jeans to give Waithe a pep talk... and plant one on her.

Berry rolled in as if she'd just jogged from hanging out with her friends to come to Waithe's immediate aid, joking she wasn't dressed for the occasion; but, let's be real, she could wear a paper bag, and we wouldn't complain. Waithe requested the "Halle Berry juice," similar to her 2002 Oscars speech, and Berry immediately had the lights turned down low and jumped into inspirational speech mode.

"I know that you are a force of nature. You are a beautiful African-American queen going after everything that is hers," Berry said before going on to list Waithe's many titles and accomplishments. She jokingly concluded, "And you already winning, girl, 'cause you are dressed way better than Jimmy ever will," before asking if Waithe needed anything else. Clearly, Waithe thought that was all Berry was there to do, because she said no, but Berry insisted she needed one more thing before grabbing Waithe's face and surprising her with a kiss. "Wow," Waithe reacted after Berry pulled away, and honestly same!

Watch the video, below.

Lena Waithe's Guest Host Monologue on Jimmy Kimmel Live youtu.be

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