Time star Bella Ramsey says being neurodivergent ‘massively’ impacts their acting
Time star Bella Ramsey has shared how being neurodivergent has “massively” impacted their acting.
Ramsey, who uses they/them pronouns, received critical acclaim for their portrayal of young apocalypse survivor Ellie Williams in HBO’s The Last of Us earlier this year – so much so that they’re nominated for a “Lead Actress” Emmy for the role.
“I don’t know if I’d be an actor if it wasn’t for that,” they explained. “One of my things is I’m very perceptive, sometimes too perceptive. I get paralysed because I just see everything – it takes me four hours to get round Tesco’s.”
While the star said that they are hyper-aware of “micro-expressions and social cues”, they added that their neurodivergence doesn’t encourage them to learn their lines on time, as they often end up reciting them “in the car on the way” to the studio.
They will play a young woman called Kelsey, who arrives at a women’s prison while heavily pregnant.
You may like to watch
Alongside fellow new prisoners Orla (Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker) and Abi (King Charles III’s Tamara Lawrance), Kelsey has to navigate her new surroundings and the threat of violence, though an “unexpected sense of community and a shared understanding” is still possible inside the prison walls.
Speaking at a press conference, Ramsey explained why they were “terrified” to take on the role, which is markedly different from anything they’ve taken on before.
“Kelsey was a character that felt more external, that was terrifying. So to be given this opportunity, to be trusted with this character that I didn’t feel like it came naturally to me, it was scary,” they explained.
While they have previously admitted that they “knew nothing about drug misuse”, they shared that they visited HMP Styal in Cheshire to speak to people with real-life experience of addiction and the prison system.
“There is a lot of responsibility because, with all of the characters, there’s a lot of sensitive subject matter,” Ramsey shared.
“So it’s making sure that that was done right. And although the characters are all fictional, we’re representing real people in the world, so there was a lot of responsibility, to make sure that it was done correctly, respectfully and accurately.”
Time season two premieres on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Sunday 29 October at 9pm. Season one is available on BBC iPlayer now.
MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.