North Yorkshire TV star hits out at ‘posh actors’ who indulge in ‘working-class tourism’
Jessica Barden has hit out at “posh actors” and said her working-class background has previously limited the roles she has been offered.
The 30-year-old actor hails from North Yorkshire and first gained widespread recognition for her role in Channel 4 comedy drama The End Of The F****** World.
Barden reflected on how her working class upbringing has affected her career in an interview with the Sunday Times.
“I hate words like gritty or feisty,” she said. ““Gritty means working class and feisty means you have an opinion.
“I die inside when I read them.
“Emma Corrin finished playing Diana (in The Crown) and said they wanted to do a ‘gritty’ independent film in Scotland with an ‘outrageous accent’ and red hair.
“I was, like, why are you allowed to talk like this?
“How is working-class tourism still OK for posh actors?
“I’m from Yorkshire.
“I get a script for a gritty working-class woman, and it means I’m playing somebody being abused.”
Barden was born in Northallerton to her father, a prison officer, and mother, an accountant. The family later moved to Wetherby.
The actor, who now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, American screenwriter Max Winkler, went on to star as a college dropout in Pink Skies Ahead, a young woman working in a dangerous scrap metal yard in Holler and a student romantically involved with her teacher in Scarborough.
Reflecting on her experience of being on set, Barden added: “”I was one of the only young working-class actors – at least I didn’t meet others…
“There’s a lot of self-protection that a working-class woman has to do in this industry – you are very vulnerable.
“I was 16 when I moved to London to do Jerusalem and I lived alone.
“I didn’t know anything about the industry.”
Barden played the role of teenager Pea Gibbons, who emerged drunk from underneath a caravan in the 2009 show of Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem at London’s Royal Court Theatre.