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Interview: Rosie Day

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Since her breakthrough performance in horror-thriller The Seasoning House, actress Rosie Day’s career has moved from strength to strength.

Best known for her tender performance as Mary Hawkins in Outlander, the 22 year-old has been named one of Screen International’s ‘Stars of Tomorrow’, and has worked alongside A-listers like Uma Thurman and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Her new project is Living The Dream, a sitcom about a Yorkshire family who buy a trailer rental business in Florida. Rosie took a break from her busy schedule to talk to us about filming in America, meeting her idols, and her new foray into writing.

(David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock)

(David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock)

Tell us about your role in Living The Dream.

I play Tina, who’s 17 years old. She’s very excited to move to Florida, because she’s heard stories about people having parties every weekend, living the red cup lifestyle. But when she gets there, she finds she’s actually moved to quite a conservative area. It’s not quite what she expected it to be.

Did you enjoy filming in America?

It was amazing! That was something that really appealed to me about the job, getting to go and shoot in America. It was a really lovely experience to go live over there for three months.

You’ve worked on American projects like Outlander before. Have you ever considered moving to America like your character Tina?

I’d love to move to New York, but I don’t think I could move to LA. I’ve been there a couple of times and it’s not quite my cup of tea. But New York is my favourite place in the world, and I could move there tomorrow.

What was your relationship like with your on-screen parents, actors Philip Glenister and Lesley Sharp?

I was so star struck when I first met them because I was such a massive fan of both of them. I loved Phil in Ashes to Ashes and Life on Mars, and Lesley’s career is one that I’ve followed for the last ten years. I was very nervous, but they were so incredible with me, and I’ve learnt so much from working with them both. There’s nothing they don’t know about this industry.

I’ve seen from your Instagram that you’re recently met Billie Piper. How do you find that and how do you find meeting fans of your work?

Billie Piper’s been my idol since I was about 11. She was probably my first ever acting inspiration when Doctor Who came back, because I’m a massive fan of that. I could barely speak when I met her, so my sister did most of the talking.

When I meet fans, it’s lovely but a little bizarre because I don’t think of myself in those terms. But all the Outlander fans are amazing. They’re very generous people.

Some of your most notable roles have been very dramatic. Has it been fun to do more comedy on the show?

It’s been brilliant, because I’ve never really gotten to do that much comedy before. It’s been lovely to show up to work and have fun and do jokes, rather than have to be in an incredibly dark or emotional place. For me, it’s also about the people who are going to watch it; it’s going to make people happy rather than sad, which is really lovely for me.

You’re a vocal feminist.  What has it been like for you to hear the stories of sexual harassment and assault in the film industry following the Harvey Weinstein scandal?

Sadly, I think it’s something that people have been aware of for a very long time, myself included. I think it’s really brilliant that everyone’s coming out and telling their stories. The most important thing now is that it makes a difference in the real world, because I think that if we’re all talking about it on social media, it’s important that it actually makes a change in today’s society and in our industry.

You’re an ambassador for Stem4, a charity that educates on teenage mental health. What do you think needs to be done to better support young people with mental health issues?

Stem4 is a teenage mental health charity, and they’re one of the very few charities that only work with teenagers. I think now more than ever there’s a crisis with young people; 1 in 3 teenagers have some form of mental health issue.

The government needs to put more money and more support into projects like Stem4, because the funding for young people’s mental health was slashed last year. People don’t talk about mental health, and it’s not publicised in the way that it should be. If your physical health isn’t stigmatised, then why should your mental health be?

You’ve done a few stage roles in the past, do you prefer TV and film work, or would you like to do more theatre in the future?

TV and film are where I feel I’m most comfortable. I’ve grown up being on set and I love it. But theatre is something I would love to do more of, it’s a really different medium to work in. Lesley Sharp, who plays my mum in Living The Dream, is in The Seagull in London at the moment. I went and saw that, and I couldn’t believe how good it was. I would love to do something like that.

You recently wrote a TV pilot called ‘Adulting’. Can you tell us any details?

I wrote the pilot with my best friend Charlie. It’s about two young people moving into a flat and knowing literally nothing about being an adult. A lot of it is based on our lives, like the time when I spent three weeks washing my clothes with dishwasher tablets. You’re not really taught that stuff.

What projects do you have planned for the future?

I’m going to New York at Christmas to shoot a movie called Come Home, which I’m very excited about. I’ve also just written a feature film that’s been picked up by a production company. I learned this year that I’d love to do more writing. 

Living The Dream airs on Thursdays at 9pm on Sky One.




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