Change language

Jessica Brown Findlay: ‘After Lady Sybil I am a wild mother’

The best-loved star of 'Downton Abbey' returns with 'The Hanging Sun', a thriller based on Jo Nesbø in which she reveals a surprising face. And here she tells her story, from her broken dream to her success, from her eating disorders to her motto: 'Be kind'.

Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) is alive, and fighting along with us. Only she has changed her skin: she is no longer the sensitive daughter of the Earl of Grantham, the idealist who in Downton Abbey marries the chauffer (and dies giving birth to a baby girl, a record-breaking episode). In The Hanging Sun-Midnight Sun, the thriller directed by Francesco Carrozzini and based on the book by Jo Nesbø (from 12 December exclusively on Sky Cinema and Now), she is Lea and lives with her son in a village in the middle of nowhere in Norway, a victim of her religious fanatic father and brother-in-law. But an encounter with a fugitive (Alessandro Borghi) who – like her – hides a secret triggers a compelling story.

"I loved her being wild and free and exposed. I didn't want make-up or a hairdresser," she says.

Jessica Brown Findlay after Downton Abbey

Impatience with costume dramas? Is that why she left Downton Abbey, forcing the author, Julian Fellowes, to 'eliminate' her?
No no, I love them! I grew up reading Jane Austen. Actually, in 2010, acting was my second job, I was still at art school: when we weren't filming, I invariably had traces of paint in my hair (laughs). We all had a three-year contract, and when I was asked to renew it, I wasn't ready, however financially it would have fixed me. I wasn't even sure if I would continue being an actress. That was not my dream.

And what was that?
To be a dancer. A thunderbolt – I must have been two and a half years old – when a little girl entered kindergarten wearing a tutu. I overcame my mother's reluctance and she enrolled me in a class. I was so in love with music, with dance: I felt freer in that space than in talking to people. It was the first time I was good at something I loved (I was terrible at school, although I tried really hard). I had no money, but my teacher helped me find scholarships. I even performed at the Royal Opera House.

Then what happened?
I had surgery on my ankles, just as I was about to join a company. I said to myself: 'OK, closed'. It's strange, at that moment I didn't feel brave or powerful. I simply knew that stopping to cry would kill me because my identity went through there: I felt "Jessica, dancer", almost like it was my surname, I couldn't separate the two. And around 2005 I ended up at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design: London was creative and chaotic, and it was so exciting, for the first time in my life, to be surrounded by people who had never taken a ballet class! 

Suddenly I was with people who explored every avenue for their art, and didn't mind turning it into a job. They made me laugh, they were kind and original. It was like taking LSD, everything was in technicolour and suddenly it made sense! It unlocked something in me, it pushed me to find new ways of expressing myself So came acting.

Do you tend to see the positive side in everything?
Yes, I consider myself very optimistic. When you are young you just act on instinct, and my instinct was to move forward. Every change in my life has not been intentional or planned, sometimes even frightening, but it has taught me to get rid of plans that do not work and that is exciting. It does not mean not having hopes, ambitions or dreams, but embracing new things, although this attitude does not come naturally to me, on the contrary.

How did you 'work' on your inner balance?
With psychoanalysis. There's this idea that – to be an artist – you shouldn't have to heal the cracks you feel in yourself because that's where your creativity springs from. Instead, I think it's crucial to be kind to yourself. So I would say therapy, good food, unconditional love and just a bit of relativising the important things. I do yoga: I love it, it makes me happy. My husband (actor Ziggy Heath, ed) and I are often at the cooker: at some point, every day, we are in the kitchen, we sit, we chat, we eat well. There have been times when I have been uncaring of myself, and I have ruined everything.

The recovery of Jessica Brown Findlay

What are you alluding to?
I suffered from eating disorders. Food is something you control, but it is essential for life, you can't just eliminate it like a drug.

Remember when she said to herself: stop, stop!
When I realised I couldn't dance any more, I couldn't stand up. And I thought: if I can't move, I can't express myself….

Do you still like knitting?
Yes, I'm trying to make a hat. But, alas, it doesn't look like a hat (laughs). Maybe I'll 'convert' it into a strange toy… I'm distracted when I knit, because at the same time I'm listening to something or watching a film. When I look down, I see that I've made a long gut that doesn't match anything, and I have to throw it all away. She would be offended if I gave her something I made (laughs)!

Featured

Best hot tubs under $5000

See details

2023 Shows like Pretty little liars

See details

Best shows like Queen of the south

See details

Write for us + Fashion

See details

Lifestyle write for us

See details

News

2023-02-04 14:09:20 Tom Hardy will be a Hannibal Lecter-style serial killer in Apple TV+'s Lazarus 2023-02-04 14:04:41 Adieu à Melinda Dillon (avec un mystère sur sa mort) 2023-02-04 14:01:30 Heidi Klum wäre bereit für ein neues Baby 2023-02-04 13:58:03 Serena Williams habla sobre la bofetada de Will Smith en los Oscar: "Nadie es perfecto 2023-02-04 13:53:44 Colin Farrell: the 10 memorable roles 2023-02-02 15:21:25 Beyoncé anuncia sua Volta ao Mundo Renascentista 2023-02-02 15:19:39 Ashton Kutcher says he didn't like Demi Moore's autobiography at all! 2023-02-02 15:14:48 Emma Stone, die Liebe auf dem Höhepunkt mit Ehemann Dave McCary 2023-02-02 14:59:50 Alec Baldwin formally indicted for on-set shooting: 'Manslaughter' 2023-02-02 14:56:14 Selena Gomez sin filtro en Instagram: "Esta soy yo" 2023-02-01 17:58:31 Brad Pitt is the proud owner of one of the best watches of 2022 2023-02-01 17:42:17 "When can I finally use lube?" Naomi Watts breaks the taboo of menopause with this funny post about vaginal dryness 2023-02-01 17:39:06 Christina Aguilera es la próxima estrella en probar el look de mallas en lugar de pantalones - mira las fotos aquí 2023-02-01 17:36:16 Eros Ramazzotti et Michelle Hunziker, futurs grands-parents enthousiastes : "sérénade" dans la rue avec des fans 2023-02-01 17:33:51 Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo welcomed their third child 2023-02-01 17:31:33 Zoe Kravitz zdradza swoje sekrety urody: "Uroda to kwestia pewności siebie". 2023-02-01 17:24:58 Conheça Matthew Jamal, o violoncelista retratado com Madonna: "Eu acredito profundamente no poder curativo da música". 2023-02-01 17:20:16 Michael Jacksons Neffe wird in einem Biopic den King of Pop verkörpern

American

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

salt bae

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Johnny Sins

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Ángel Di María

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Gary Glitter

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Sfera Ebbasta

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Les Gold

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Alice Muzza

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Julio Iglesias

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Alessandro Del Piero

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Horacio Pagani

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Kianna Dior

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Katarina Witt

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Jenna Ortega

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Les Feldick

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Anthony Santos

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Paloma Picasso

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Garou

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Ángel Di María

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Marcelo Tinelli

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Daniel von Bargen

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

emiliano martinez

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Paul Orfalea

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Debra Paget

12 comments

German

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Ángel Di María

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Gary Glitter

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Katarina Witt

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Daniel von Bargen

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

emiliano martinez

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Shakin Stevens

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Morris Prigoff

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Tyler Perry

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Jacob Rothschild

12 comments

Brasilian

Celebrities Net Worth

Horacio Pagani

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Carlos Villagrán

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Lana Rhoades

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Lana Rhoades

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Lana Rhoades

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Kento Yamazaki

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Joel Courtney

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Joe Martin

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Janet Layug

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Yung Bleu

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Caroline Wozniacki

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Luther Vandross

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Lana Rhoades

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Donald Cerrone

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Thomas Weeks

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Phil Campbell

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Juelz Santana

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Siouxsie Sioux

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Julia Ann

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

James Dinan

12 comments

Italian

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Sfera Ebbasta

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Les Gold

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Alice Muzza

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Alessandro Del Piero

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Jenna Ortega

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Laura Antonelli

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Johnny Sins

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Valentino Rossi

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Chris Bumstead

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Angela White

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Horacio Pagani

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Ronaldinho

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Antonella Roccuzzo

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Gigi D`Agostino

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Rocco Siffredi

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Jacob Rothschild

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Xi Jinping

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Blueface

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Antonio Cairoli

12 comments

Spanish

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Horacio Pagani

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Anthony Santos

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Ángel Di María

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Marcelo Tinelli

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Carlos Tevez

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Martina Stoessel

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Chris Bumstead

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Lana Rhoades

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Brian Tracy

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Angela White

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Carmen Lomana

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Vicente Fox

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Horacio Cartes

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Pierluigi Collina

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Inés Sainz

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Edinson Cavani

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Don Cheto

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Martin Lorentzon

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Jaime Bayly

12 comments

French

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Horacio Pagani

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Anthony Santos

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Ángel Di María

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Marcelo Tinelli

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Carlos Tevez

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Martina Stoessel

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Chris Bumstead

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Lana Rhoades

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Brian Tracy

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Angela White

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Carmen Lomana

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Vicente Fox

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Horacio Cartes

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Pierluigi Collina

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Inés Sainz

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Edinson Cavani

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Don Cheto

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Martin Lorentzon

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Jaime Bayly

12 comments

Swedish

Celebrities Net Worth

Anna Anka

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Peter Stormare

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Mikkey Dee

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Billy Brown

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Luka Modrić

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Sean Parker

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Brian Jones

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Bryan Ferry

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Nusret Gokce

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

John Travolta

12 comments

Norwegian

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Levi Coralynn

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Gautam Adani

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Mia Khalifa

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Martin Lorentzon

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Curt Engelhorn

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Behgjet Pacolli

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Shervin Pishevar

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Jack Dorsey

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Jay Alvarrez

12 comments

Finnish

Celebrities Net Worth

Heikki Kovalainen

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Jeff Lynne

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Nusret Gokce

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Kevin Hart

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Whitney Way Thore

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Ines- Loan Rau

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Diandra DeMorrell Luker 

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Gautam Adani

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Luka Modrić

12 comments

Polish

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Horacio Pagani

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Lana Rhoades

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Evan Peters

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Kelly Pavlik

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Pele

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Jeffrey Jey

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Allen Haff

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Tim Armstrong (Rancid)

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Pharrell Williams

12 comments

Danish

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Bo Eason

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Chris Bumstead

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Steve Lund

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Sade

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Martin Lorentzon

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Ronnie Wood

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Billy Hayes

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Jason Orange

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Victor Borge

12 comments

Arab

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

CiCi Bellis

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Horacio Pagani

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

mtailor shark tank updates miles penn revenue wiki

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Nusret Gokce

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Alexey Leonidovich Pajitnov

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Melissa De Sousa

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Travis Scott

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Lorenzo Lamas

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Jacob the Jeweler

12 comments

Turkish

Celebrities Net Worth

Andrew Tate

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Bruna Marquezine

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Johnny Sins

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Les Gold

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Infanta Elena

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Arda Turan

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

giannina maradona

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Lei Jun

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Alexis Texas

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Marc Merrill

12 comments

Greek

Celebrities Net Worth

Miroslav Klose

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Merle Oberon

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Kristina Rose

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

PewDiePie

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Akiho Yoshizawa

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Eddie Jackson

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Aaron Barrett

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

The Rock Dwayne Johnson

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Natalie Maines

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Brian Setzer

12 comments

Romanian

Celebrities Net Worth

Daniel Stern

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Christian Kane

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Harry Nilsson

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Eduardo Noriega

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Evil Jared Hasselhoff

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Blackie Lawless

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Lil Pump

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Wanda Acuna

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Bruna Marquezine

12 comments

Celebrities Net Worth

Pam Oliver

12 comments

News archive

1/2023 » 12/2022 » 11/2022 » 10/2022 » 9/2022 » 8/2022 » 7/2022 » 6/2022 » 5/2022 » 4/2022 » 3/2022 » 2/2022 »