British actress Ella Purnell opens up about her relationship with Kiera Knightley and Her Struggles With Mental Health
This week’s issue of ES Magazine, out Thursday 12th April
This week, ES Magazine exclusively talks to actress Ella Purnell, who has worked alongside some of Hollywood’s elite including Margot Robbie, Tim Burton and her mentor Kiera Knightley.
The 21-year-old candidly opens up about her struggles with mental health and what it’s like being an ambassador with would-famous fashion brand Chanel.
On her relationship with actress Kiera Knightley "Keira Knightley remains one of my mentors," [Purnell says.] "I absolutely love her and will turn to her for industry advice or reassurance or validation at any time. She is very classy and elegant and lovely. I have a bit of a woman-crush on Keira."
On her struggles with mental health and self-harm "I have anxiety and have had depression in the past," [she says.] "When I was 15 or 16 I had a bad experience at school — some issues with other classmates and somebody I was seeing, we don’t need to go into it. I started self-harming and did that for a long time until my mum caught me and I started to learn about it [mental health]. I thought depression was something you could only have if your parents died, or you were really ill and about to jump off the bridge. I certainly didn’t feel comfortable enough to talk about it then. Had this happened to me now I’d feel able to say, “Mum, I need to take some time off school,” or, “Mum, I am suffering with this thing.”
On her opinions of power plays in the film industry "It’s very hard to not give in, to sell your soul: to flatter a more experienced male person of power, a producer or director, in order to get what you want," [she says.] "You feel a pressure to flutter your eyelashes and flirt, because you know that will work, and I think it’s admirable to not do that. I don’t think that is a comment on women, I think it is a comment on men in power."
On being a brand ambassador for Chanel "It’s not a hard job," [she sparkles.] "You get to wear amazing clothes and meet amazing people, and then, like Cinderella, you give the dress back at the end of the night.’ (Not always: she gets to keep some of them.) [For this professed tomboy who hates high heels, attending couture shows with the Chanel ‘family’ was a steep learning curve.] ‘I didn’t understand anything. I had to google everything,’ [she says.] ‘The detail that goes into couture stuff is insane. Everything is handmade, every sequin, every double stitch. I learned about the silhouettes, the textures, the colours, the fabrics, the shapes. To me, before, fashion was just jeans and a top. There, I got to try on the new collection afterwards — it takes four people to get you into a dress."
The full interview appears in this week’s issue of ES Magazine, out Thursday 12th April
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