Claire Foy has talked candidly in a new interview about her long-term struggles with anxiety disorder. Talking to the Guardian, the actress, who is most famous for her portrayal of the Queen in Netflix's hit series The Crown, revealed she developed it at a young age and that it was triggered by childhood events such as her parent's separation, but it worsened as her acting career took off. The star said that it has hindered her when looking for work as she has been plagued by self-criticism and intrusive thoughts.
"When you have anxiety, you have anxiety about - I don't know - crossing the road," she told the Guardian's Weekend magazine. "The thing about it is, it's not related to anything that would seem logical. It's purely about that feeling in the pit of your stomach, and the feeling that you can't, because you're 'this' or you're 'that'. It's my mind working at a thousand beats a second, and running away with a thought."
The 34-year-old mother-of-one reflected on the time she auditioned for the role of Anne Boleyn in 2014 in the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall and how self-doubt took hold. "I'd read Hilary Mantel's novel. And I just thought: 'I'm not her. Not in any way, shape or form", she said. "Anne was so intelligent, so alluring, so able to be mysterious and have people be fascinated with her. Anne knew she was special... I just didn't see it."
Foy has since received counselling and says that, although the anxiety isn't totally gone, it's helped her greatly in dealing with it. "It's still there, but I guess I don't believe it so much any more.
"I used to think that this was my lot in life, to be anxious. And that I would struggle and struggle and struggle with it, and that it would make me quite miserable, and that I'd always be restricted. But now I'm able to disassociate myself from it more," she said.