About an hour into our interview with Claire Foy, the conversation turns to breastmilk.
Foy, who rose to fame playing Elizabeth II in The Crown, vividly remembers breastfeeding her daughter Ivy on set dressed as Her Majesty The Queen. She started filming the hit series four months after giving birth and looks back on that period as tough.
“It’s been physically quite hard,” she admits. “I’ve had to take care of myself after a baby and working those hours, then feel bad about working so [I’d] wake up early to see my child. Just being a mess in every single place I was in.”
It’s a feeling most mothers relate to. “Everything is a challenge. You have a really amazing day, then you have an ‘armpit of the world’ day,” says Foy, who stars in the upcoming film Unsane about a woman who signs up for “voluntary” confinement at a local mental health facility.
Despite struggling through ‘armpit of the world’ days when she returned to work after becoming a mum, Foy says it’s an opportunity every woman deserves.
“When a woman gets to childbearing age, she has to disappear or not have children and then be judged – it’s really weird,” she says, face scrunched. “Women find it incredibly difficult to go back to work after children. It’s not encouraged. It’s just not the norm.”
In order to disrupt the norm, Foy says women need to feel accepted. “[We need] less judgement. Less people having a go. Being able to say ‘I feel shit’, and everyone going, ‘That’s alright.’ It’s such a relief to realise everyone else is finding it just as hard,” she says. Because even The Queen has ‘armpit of the world’ days.
The May issue of marie claire starring Claire Foy is on sale Thursday.
Unsane hits cinemas on April 25.