Thu. Jul 25th, 2024
alert-–-fallout-star-ella-purnell,-27,-reveals-moment-she-swore-off-nude-scenes-and-why-she-nearly-quit-acting-altogether-before-landing-lead-tv-roleAlert – Fallout star Ella Purnell, 27, reveals moment she swore off nude scenes and why she nearly quit acting altogether before landing lead TV role

Fallout star Ella Purnell has opened up about the moment she made the ‘terrifying’ decision to refuse to do nude scenes and how she nearly gave up acting altogether to avoid being sexualized on screen.  

The London-born actress, 27, who began her career as a child, revealed she started setting boundaries when she was just a teen, swearing off nudity and love stories during a candid conversation with her agent. 

It was a choice she felt compelled to make shortly after having an unsettling first kiss on a film set when she only ’15 or 16′.

The idea of becoming a sex object even caused Purnell to consider quitting acting for good five years later at the age of 21.  

But now Purnell has admitted it was not a decision she made lightly. 

Ella Purnell has revealed she swore off nudity and love stories early on in her career after a candid conversation with her agent

Ella Purnell has revealed she swore off nudity and love stories early on in her career after a candid conversation with her agent

The 27-year-old British actress starring as 'vault dweller' Lucy MacLean in the hit Amazon Prime series Fallout, which premiered in April

The 27-year-old British actress starring as ‘vault dweller’ Lucy MacLean in the hit Amazon Prime series Fallout, which premiered in April

‘Realizing that I don’t want to do nudity – or I don’t want to do a love story – and feeling a bit embarrassed because you think, am I less of an actor or less professional?’ she said. 

‘But having my agent really validate my feelings and say “No, it’s OK to not feel comfortable doing this or that”.

‘My first kiss was onscreen in a movie and I think that took me a couple of years to reckon with that and be like, “No, I think I need to take a break”.

Read More

What Amazon's Fallout gets right about how life would mutate after nuclear bombs drop

article image

‘And to have someone value that opinion and preference is really empowering for a child actor.’

Purnell said she was worried her stance could cost her work.

‘You have to keep working because you never know when you are going to get your next job and what if I never work again?

‘If I start saying no to things, I’m not going to get hired again and that’s terrifying.

‘It’s really hard to know your worth and say, ‘Actually no, I don’t want to do that job because I want to do this instead.’

‘It’s hard for anyone self-employed and it’s hard for women. It’s hard to navigate in this industry sometimes.’

Ella is now starring as ‘vault dweller’ Lucy MacLean in the hit Amazon Prime series Fallout, which premiered in April and is based on the video game series.

The drama, set in a post nuclear apocalypse Los Angeles, is the most streamed original show to come out this year, reaching more than 34 million subscriber accounts.

Purnell's television credits include her role as Jackie Taylor on Showtime series Yellowjackets

Purnell’s television credits include her role as Jackie Taylor on Showtime series Yellowjackets

The actress began her career as a child, playing the younger version of Keira Knightley's character in 2010 film Never Let Me Go

The actress began her career as a child, playing the younger version of Keira Knightley’s character in 2010 film Never Let Me Go 

Purnell and former co-star Keira Knightley attended the Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year Awards 2016

Purnell and former co-star Keira Knightley attended the Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year Awards 2016

It’s done so well it boosted Amazon’s daily viewing figures by eight per cent, with 80 per cent of viewers binging the series in just five days.

So it’s little wonder that Ella – wh also starred as a tragedy-plagued teen in the Showtime survival drama Yellowjackets – is being tipped as the next big thing.

Along with two 30-yer-olds, House of the Dragon’s Olivia Cooke and Aimee Lou Wood of White Lotus fame, she is part of a new trio of female stars that have the industry at their feet.

Sky production supremo Cecile Frot-Coutaz said of them: ‘Over the past year it’s been great to see a new wave of young British actresses leading the charge in Hollywood.’

Ella attended the Sylvia Young theatre school in London when she was aged nine having shot her first commercial a year earlier.

She does not name the movie on which she experienced her first kiss, but contenders include 2014’s Maleficent, for which she was hired to be a young Angelina Jolie, 49.

Early in her career, she also played the younger version of Margot Robbie’s character in 2016 adventure film The Legend of Tarzan and that of Keira Knightley, 39, in the 2010 romantic drama thriller movie, Never Let Me Go. 

Speaking on the Collider Ladies Night podcast, she said: ‘It’s funny because with the young Margot and young Angelina, (my part) is not in the movie.

‘Either it got cut or I was a body double, like I was for young Margot.

‘But everything happens for a reason and I think that happened so I could learn.

‘You are literally taking a young actor who is a little directionless and you are telling them, ‘Mimic this professional, successful, gorgeous and talented person, watch them and learn from them.’

Incredibly, it was only when she was 18 and landed a part in the Tim Burton-directed movie, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, that she started to take acting seriously.

Was Angelina Jolie's 2014 movie Maleficent the film where Ella experienced her first kiss?

Was Angelina Jolie’s 2014 movie Maleficent the film where Ella experienced her first kiss?

Co-stars Kyle MacLachlan, Aaron Moten, Ella Purnell, Walton Goggins and Xelia Mendes-Jones attend the UK special screening of Fallout in London in April

Co-stars Kyle MacLachlan, Aaron Moten, Ella Purnell, Walton Goggins and Xelia Mendes-Jones attend the UK special screening of Fallout in London in April 

The drama, set in a post nuclear apocalypse Los Angeles, is the most streamed original show to come out this year, reaching more than 34 million subscriber accounts on Amazon Prime

The drama, set in a post nuclear apocalypse Los Angeles, is the most streamed original show to come out this year, reaching more than 34 million subscriber accounts on Amazon Prime 

She said: ‘I don’t think I really knew I wanted to be an actor. It certainly wasn’t a dream of mine. It was more of a curiosity.

‘I loved watching movies growing up. I watched Spy Kids (the film) and thought they were the coolest. Me and my best friend from childhood would pretend to be spies.

‘I was the girly girl and she was the tomboy and we had all these gadgets – make believe gadgets.

‘But I guess I never really thought of acting as a long-term career. It was always something I did now – and I don’t think kids are able to think that far ahead into the future.

‘I was 18 when I got the part in the Tim Burton movie and I loved him growing up and watched all of his films religiously. I was like, ‘Wow, I actually get to be in a Tim Burton movie.’

‘I didn’t think that was possible for someone like me. On set, getting to experience so many first things.

‘It was such a pinch me moment. I had no idea how this happened and it was like wow – this is so cheesy – but dreams actually do come true.’

But aged 21 she experienced the first serious wobble that led to her almost quitting acting for good.

She was worried about being typecast as a sex object and wanted to go to university like her friends from school.

But she decided to stick it out when she won the lead role in the 2018 TV series, Sweetbitter, in which she did agree to a brief nude scene, removing her towel to expose her top half in a sauna. 

The part – which saw main character Tess learning to let go of her inhibitions – reflected what was happening in real life.

Ella said: ‘When I did Sweetbitter, it was my first time doing TV.

Purnell had considered quitting acting at the age of 21, after grappling with the prospect of being typecast as a 'sex object', before landing the lead role as Tess in Starz show Sweetbitter in 2018

Purnell had considered quitting acting at the age of 21, after grappling with the prospect of being typecast as a ‘sex object’, before landing the lead role as Tess in Starz show Sweetbitter in 2018  

She agreed to do a brief nude scene in the series in which her character exposed her chest at the sauna, as well as some steamy but mild love scenes

She agreed to do a brief nude scene in the series in which her character exposed her chest at the sauna, as well as some steamy but mild love scenes 

‘It was my first time working in America, doing an American accent, living in America.

‘I was living in Williamsburg and I got really lucky and made these four fantastic girlfriends who were not in film and TV, I just met them through a friend.

‘They became my best friends. I met them really early on, I didn’t know anything about the city and the States and they introduced me to New York and it was crazy.

‘I found my Sex and the City crew. I was like, I’m living the dream right now. I really couldn’t believe it.’

She later moved to Los Angeles to film Yellowjackets and she seems settled there having moved in with her musician boyfriend Max Bennett Kelly and their pet dog.

With 1.2million Instagram followers, Ella is already being tipped as the UK’s answer to actress Sydney Sweeney, 26. But she is still not sure if the industry is her first priority.

She said: ‘I was asked the other day, ‘Do you think you’ve made it?’

‘It was a really thought-provoking question.

‘What is it? Made what? It’s a personal definition.

‘For some it might be winning an Oscar.

‘For me, my life has been so crazy and there has been a lack of stability and you have to redefine what happiness looks like for you.

‘When I was younger, I thought of that as career success and now I think of it as balance.

‘Of course I want to be successful.

‘But successful to me isn’t being rich or famous or having awards.

‘It’s doing work that I feel proud of and challenges me and if I can find a way to do that and balance it with having a family and friends and richness in my life that isn’t just my work, that is contentment.

‘But maybe in a year I’m going to be vying for an Oscar and that’s all I will care about.’

error: Content is protected !!