Maisie Williams: The Painful Past Of A Game Of Thrones Star | E181 | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Maisie Williams: The Painful Past Of A Game Of Thrones Star | E181".


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Intro (00:00)

They were asking the right questions. We can stop as much as you want, but we don't have to carry on. Maisie, will you have to remember? Gengma Thrones is the biggest show on television. Gengma Thrones flipped my whole world on its head. I sometimes worry that I'm like alienated because it will happen when I was so young and like literally from the age of 12 I've been like sat for life. I had a traumatic relationship with my dad and ever since I can remember like I've really struggled sleeping. It had like met its like peak and I was at school. I was taken by a teacher to the staff room. She was saying like what's happened? I think a lot of the traumatic things that were happening, I didn't realise that they were wrong. I would look around at other kids and be like, where does the joy? When does that come for me? When you were 22 you talked about issues with substance abuse? Yeah, I would just have that sense of impending doom and I didn't know how to make it go away. I'm going to come and give you a hug. Before this conversation starts, I've got a favour to ask from you. 74% of people that watch this podcast frequently haven't yet hit the subscribe button and 9% of people haven't yet hit the bell to turn notifications on. The bigger this platform gets, the bigger the guests get. So if you could do me one favour, if you've ever enjoyed this podcast, please hit the subscribe button and turn notifications on. Without further ado, I'm Stephen Bartlett and this is the Dirova CEO. I hope nobody's listening, but if you are, then please keep this yourself. So take me back, Somerset.

Personal Life And Career Journey

Early years (02:03)

What do I need to understand who you are now? What do I need to know about that part of your life? Well, I, as like a young child before the age of like eight, had quite a traumatic like relationship with my dad. And I don't really want to go into it too much because it affects my siblings and my whole family. But like that really consumed a lot of my childhood ever since I can remember like I've really struggled sleeping. And I think a lot of the traumatic things that were happening, I didn't realise that they were wrong. But I knew that like I would look around at other kids and be like, "Why, why, like why don't they seem to understand this like pain or dread or fear? Like, you know, where does the joy, like when does that come for me? Like I, you know, I kind of always felt like I felt things very deeply in comparison to other people. And so when that sort of period of my life ended, I imagined that like, you know, everything is just like up from here, like everything's perfect now. All those things that I was concerned about were actually wrong. And like now I'm sort of free. Yeah, and then you know, at different stages in life you realise that there's never like an end destination for that freedom. And it's, yeah, it kind of comes from within, I guess, like when are you going to let yourself be free from the pain? But yeah, that really consumed a lot of my childhood. That was sort of like what I was identified as, you know, what I identified myself as for a long time. And then, you know, everything changed and I sort of became this like, you know, character who, who wouldn't let anything bad happen to her or anyone around her. And yeah, I guess like maybe there is some sort of like connection between those two things. Your mother left your father? Yeah, before I was born actually, well, no, I guess she escaped when I was about four months old. So it was, you know, bad before that. And then, yeah. Have you spoken about this before? No. I don't know, I like you. Absolutely. I don't know, I feel like this is something that I've been like learning a lot about recently and I feel like I can speak about it now. Yeah. Does it, has it taken you time to like, to, can I ask the question about have you spoken about it before? Because I think at like 25 years old there was like really foundational things I learned about myself that I only learn. You know, sometimes you read something or you hear something and you go, fuck. That explains this thing. So my question there is just like, did it take you time to connect those dots? Yeah, definitely. I think that people sort of talk about like rewiring, people on your podcast actually speak about rewiring your brain. But that first, in order to do that, you have to recognize when your brain is doing a pattern and you want to rewire and quite often like it's already triggered so many things and like you're in a bad mood and you have no idea why and it's hard to kind of like trace back from that point. So like that awareness and like finding that kind of for me had to come first like when it really started to, I don't know, when I really started to understand it, it was like I was just picturing those minutes where I was like why does that make me feel really uncertain or angry or like make me want to like shout at someone like what is that and then you can start to go like, no, it's okay and work your way back. So you were seeing like social triggers or situations where you were, you know, I saw you, I saw you said when you spoke to Lewis Howes, you said I've always been quite an anxious person. Yeah. And I really reflect on that because I, you know, I'm not an expert in anxiety. I've been anxious myself. I've been an anxious person at times myself, but I've always wondered for many years if we're, we're born that way or if we're predisposed or if something happens and then we become anxious. Have you thinking about how you sort of social triggers, have you connected any dots regarding being an anxious person as you call it to those early years as you've grown up now? Um, yeah. I guess I think like a lot of that anxiety as I started to sort of recognize it came from like not really being myself and like then feeling anxious about the way that you're being perceived or whatever, but knowing that you're not really being honest and that will of course make you very anxious because if you have no idea who you're projecting, then you really have no idea how other people are going to hear it because you don't even know how you mean it. And you know, that sort of like, visage of like, I don't know, whoever, you know, whoever I thought was like capable of like getting through interviews or social like settings or whatever. And I think that like struggle with identity and like the big questions of like, who am I? I think that everyone struggles with that. But I think that like, you know, there's a period of your childhood where, you know, certain situations can really stunt like, or just alter forever like who you are going to become. And that's not to say that you can't also just like become a very peaceful and, you know, content and fulfilled person. But like that sort of basic instinct of like, what do you I, what brings me joy? You know, you've kind of second guessed that a lot as a kid and you're not known, you know, whether to trust what you really think or feel or, you know, whatever sort of like mental manipulation. And that can, yeah, really have like lasting effects. So yeah, kind of like discovering that and being like, yes, I struggle with, you know, my identity and knowing who I am. So that brings me anxiety because I don't know who to be in a social situation. But then also sort of going back, back, back far enough that you're like, oh, I don't know if that person really exists anymore. And that's okay because I can find, you know, something. Yeah, you know, find like a good version of myself. But yeah, I don't know. How do you, what do you think about that? About which part? Well, I guess like it feels like a lot of people are trying to retreat to like being a child and like the things that brought you joy and like who you are at your core and who you are when no one's looking and. But you know, can that part of you be so damaged from a very young age that you could be searching for something that, you know, is just for you to make up around? It's a really interesting question. When I've never even pondered before, I was thinking about, in fact, Lewis Howes and I think shortly after you had a conversation with him, it would have been because I know the timeline he, I think he opened up for the first time. It's so funny because when I rewatched your conversation with Lewis, you start sharing things that were difficult in your early years. You don't share anything like this with him. And then he says to you, he's quite stoic and he goes, yeah, I went through things like that as well. You're aware of what he. Yeah, yeah. He talks about. I am now. So he went through pretty, you know, horrific child abuse at a young age from, I believe a babysitter, if I'm correct, that was looking after him. That had sexually abused him. And he talks, my references, only him talking about how he feels he has to go back and like forgive himself, the child that he was and heal himself, heal the child. Yeah. So he has, I don't know if you know, but he has his face at that age on his wallpaper of his phone. And with his therapist, he's worked through healing that young version of himself and then moving on to the next to the teenage years. And so do I, do I, do I know if we can, if that child that we're seeking still exists in that? I mean, my very naive assumption would be that they do. Yeah. Are they, are they still going to be child like? I don't know. Yeah. There's something quite naive about being child like, which maybe wisdom makes irreversible. But when you, when you talk about joy, you talk about struggling to feel joy at a young age. And what is that? How do I, how do I understand those words? I think like, you know, when you watch kids play and like there's struggles and there's like, tips and there's like whatever, but there's like, just like complete inhibition, right? And it's just like running or it's like going on the slide or it's like, I felt like I would often stop in a situation like that. I would be doing something and then I would just stop and be like, something awful is going to happen. And just like, I couldn't continue. Um. Do you want to issue? Yeah, maybe. Jack, could you grab a tissue please? We can stop as much as you want, by the way. We don't have to carry on. That's great thing with podcasting. Just keep a more than ask if you want. Yeah. I can put them just like here. Cool. Is that that's off camera? Yeah, it's all good. Um. Yeah, I would just, um, had that sense of impending doom and I didn't know how to make it go away. Um. And I had like, great memories. I don't even know. It's hard to remember a lot of them. A lot of those times that I felt very free. I was actually on my own. Um. But I would never have like thought I was like an introverted person. Like I always would have thought that I was quite extroverted because, um, I perform a lot for people, you know. Um. But yeah, I, yeah, I struggled with that when I was a kid. Um. And just thought like, how do I stop feeling like this and just feel like everything's okay, you know, but at that age, I'm guessing you didn't know why you felt like that. So knowing how to go about healing from it is an impossible task. Right. Yeah. You can't solve for something that you're not aware of. Yeah. Going like nothing's wrong. Like nothing is wrong. Everything's the way that it's supposed to be. But it wasn't, but I just would tell myself that like, what is wrong with you? Like. Where was, was there an age when you found out? Because, but I kind of asked this question early, but was there an eight? Was there a moment where you found out what was wrong? Yeah. When I was about eight, um, I was quite like a complex like string of events that happened. But basically it had like met its like peak and I was at school and I guess I was, well, I mean, obviously I was really struggling. Um, and I don't really know what happened, but I was taken by a teacher to the staff room and, um, she was saying like, what's wrong? You know, like, what's happened? Have you, are you hungry? Well, no, she said, I don't know. Yeah. Are you hungry? I said, no, no. And she said, oh, why not? And I said, we just didn't have any breakfast and, you know, and then she says, well, you know, do you normally have breakfast? And it's not really. And so, you know, there's sort of, they were asking the right questions. Okay. So, I'm going to come and give you a hug. Okay. Yeah. No, I, I do think it's important because, you know, I think it's important because, you know, I had so many people who loved and cared about me so much, but I'd never been asked the right questions where I could really say what was wrong. And my mum came to school and picked me up and my siblings were also at secondary school at the time. Some of them were with mum and one was not and they were dad still and yeah. And it was the first time that like it was all of the doors were sort of open and all of these things that we were experiencing were like out on the table and it was really, really hard because I still wanted to fight and say, no, like these things aren't bad. Like you're trying to take me away from my dad and that's wrong, you know, like, because I was like indoctrinated in a way, like, you know, I think that's why I'm obsessed with cults because I'm like, I get it, I get it, I was in a child cult against my mother. Yeah, so I really was sort of fighting it for, for at the beginning, but, but basically like my whole world like flipped on its head. And even though all of these things that I was feeling, I thought, oh my God, I'm so glad I don't have to see my dad anymore. It still was like against everything that I had ever, I've knew to be true, you know. I don't know if I'm being too cryptic. No, I don't think I am. I don't think you are. You can be as cryptic as you want to. Yeah, yeah. I get, I understand what you're saying. And that's the, that's all that I need to get the context. And you can just talk as come, whatever you about, whenever you want to talk about in terms of what makes you comfortable. I don't know where your line is. Yeah, I'm figuring out. You need that. When I watch cult documentaries, there's a lot of manipulation that goes on in these documentaries. There's a lot of fear that causes silence. And that's usually why people find it, that's often why people find it difficult to leave those situations. And then when they do have these like, I always observe this like conflicting array of emotions, like they have this love for this person, but at the same time, as you've described it, once out of that situation, there's somewhat probably, you know, a spiritually free and happy to be gone. So that, that conflict of emotions always fascinated me how two truths can almost exist in the same place. You can feel, you know, so liberated and free. And at the same time, just like that impending doom is kind of still there where, yeah, it's like all your problems don't just sort of like go away, you know? Yeah, you still care a lot about that person or you still sort of understand, you know, the pain or whatever that led to those very, very poor decisions. As you sit here today at 25 years old, how do you feel about your father?

How do you feel about your father now? (19:52)

Um, well, to be honest with you, I've been thinking about this a lot. And like, I've been trying to do this thing where I stopped taking things personally. And like not just like, you know, when someone's had a bad day and they like push in front of you in the queue, but like the big things in life, like what if I said that it was not like it wasn't because of me that that happened? Like if it, if I wasn't there, it would have been something for someone else. Like it's not. Yeah, it wasn't like because there's something wrong with me that like these bad things happened when I was a child. Is that a thought you had? Yeah. Yeah. I felt like there was something inherently wrong with me or us because like we did lots of things wrong all the time, which is like why, you know, you know, you'd be mistreated or whatever because you're like, oh, like we really need to be better at this because we keep doing things wrong and we keep getting in trouble type thing. And then I was like, well, you know, like, and especially, well, because it was someone, you know, a parent and I felt like, oh, they're supposed to like like you. And so, you know, but then I was like, well, what if like there's just like no connection between like me being, you know, his daughter and like it could have been like literally anyone like experiencing that pain and it would like still be the same. And then I just kind of could separate myself from it a little bit and I could start to sort of reflect on him as a person and be like, what happens that you get so stuck in your mind that you can just like, you know, permanently like mistreat people, you know, what? Children. Children. Like your own children. But, but, you know, taking that step back and seeing it like more objectively kind of like makes me quite interested in, in the guy. I don't know him at all. And I'm like, what happened to you when you were a kid? Like, who were your parents? Is this something that you were always like when you were a kid? Did you like pull the legs off bugs or like, you know, did this, did you learn this? Like, you know, these are all the questions that I would ask. Yeah, yeah. And so that's kind of like how I feel about him now where I'm just like, what if like he would make a fascinating documentary and it's like nice to, to like, you know, not feel the, the personal pain of that anymore and actually just think like, you know, I don't know if any of the answers to that will like help me in my journey. But it is sort of like a nicer way to think of him than, you know, as like someone who doesn't love me or like me or like whatever. You know, you talked about that feeling that you were to blame for outcomes in your life that might, well, especially as early as that one, you weren't to blame for.

Did you always think you were wrong growing up? (23:38)

So there's symptoms of that as you grew up, this kind of the feeling that, you know, when things happen, it was because you did something wrong or you were, you were to blame for things. Did you feel that as an adult and your teenage is at all? Yeah, definitely. I think that like I really wanted to control a lot of things that you just can't control because like, if I don't, then if I'm not worrying or thinking about this or like wanting to control this, then like, it's all going to fall down and like then I'll blame myself and it'll be like, you know, something that I could have done better or should have done differently. Yeah, I feel like I guess it was more just like trying to control like the uncontrollable and that then leading to like another way that I could like beat myself down, you know. It's interesting because I've seen so many other interviews you've done and without knowing that early context, a lot of those, a lot of the things I was hearing didn't make sense. Yeah. Yeah. Not that it, you know, it makes sense as maybe an interesting use of words, but it always felt like there was part of your story that was untold. Yeah. It, you know, I think when I was like 12 and I'd done a bit of Game of Thrones and was doing interviews then like the first interviews that I'd ever done, I remember people sort of thing like, but you're so young. Like, how do you pretend, like, how do you show this pain? Like, you've just seen like the death of your father or like, how do you know that like, how do you act that sort of like fury and I just like in my head was like, that's a really stupid question because I've known how that feels. But like, you know, it's like, I don't know, something nice to just like leave in the past, I guess, but it's, it's hugely influenced like everything that I do as an actor. Like I get to access all of that confusion and pain in my job and I get to like really feel it in like every fiber of my being, but there's no like consequence and there's no like, you know, really shouting at anyone or hurting someone or it's like, it's all pretend. But like, the emotion is, is real and like, just being able to like, let that out is something that I didn't do for a long time. And so it's like, it's just all sort of came to the surface and I guess like holding, you know, the early part of my story like to myself is also just because I haven't really understood it the way that I have now. And I'm sure I'll understand it, you know, far better in the future, but I feel like now there's like some sort of closure to it where the journey might help other people, whereas before it was just like pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, pain, and no like conclusion. Right, right. No, like, okay, we're through the other side. Yeah, it was just like other problems that come from like the same problem, problem, problem. Yeah. But yeah, I mean, it's like, you know, going into that audition to play Arya Stark, I was sort of surrounded by girls that like were joyous and like were free and like, like they were kids, they were kids who were happy and, you know, had, you know, had whatever they had. And I thought, wow, I really, you know, here we go again, like going to be a disappointment. But you know, for that moment, actually, that was what they needed. And so that was sort of like a moment in my life where I was like, huh, maybe this thing isn't all bad. Maybe there can be something like beautiful that comes from, you know, this part of myself that I find like unnatural, like, or like just different to other kids. Here we go again. I'm going to be a disappointment. Yeah. Yeah. What do you mean by that? So when you got the role, you presumed that you were going to let people down. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, no. I just like going into the room I meant like, oh, no, I'm not going to be what they're looking for. But I did end up being what they were looking for. But like, you know, I just, um, yeah, yeah, yeah, of course. Yeah. I don't know. But like, did you, did you like always feel, ever feel like disappointing? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Of course. Yeah. I've got there's been moments in my life where I've definitely feel like I've let myself down and other people down. And it's not a good feeling to sit with. But I think I've tried to channel it into, um, into making myself. I actually went for an audition at 14 years old to do the junior apprentice. You know, the apprentice that you, so they launched the junior apprentice and I went for the first audition, got through to the final 20 and then I got long story, but I got the seam off from the VBC saying that someone had leaked the press that I was going on the show. So they said, this is jeopardized your chances of going on the show. And I don't come from a family where we had much. So going back to Plymouth and telling everyone, you know, like, oh, my friends are always going to London and going back and saying like, they've just called me and told me I'm not on the show was, was devastating for a long time. Lots of tears. I felt like a disappointment of that phase in my life. Um, and several times subsequently, but, um, I think I've always been somewhat optimistic going into situations.

Acting took me out of my real world (30:13)

I generally feel like I've got nothing to lose. Um, and I think maybe that's a bit of a privilege, to be honest. I think mindset privilege is a real thing, just like perspective privilege, something we don't talk about enough in, um, had I been in an early situation where someone was continually, um, telling me the things that I was doing, were wrong or not good enough or whatever, I can quite easily see how I would anticipate that feedback going into anything where, um, feedback was going to be given. And it's, it's actually pretty remarkable. I mean, you know, because those early experiences you would, you would assume would smash someone's like self esteem, pretty severely and, and make them kind of retreat into safe places. One of the safest places is where we don't get feedback and someone doesn't shout at us or, you know, but that, that first, this was your first audition, right? Game of Thrones. Yeah. Or one of, I, I had an audition before that, which I also was very excited about and then didn't get. So that was like my first like, you know, professional rejection. But you were still putting yourself out there in situations where you could be rejected. Yeah, definitely. And I think it was because I, the only time that I really felt that joy that I saw in other people was when I was like dancing or performing. And there was this feeling that I would get that I was like, this is like, I feel like human, you know? And so I was like, I've just got to do anything I can to like do this forever. And so from a very young age, I was like, I want to go to stage school and I want to, yeah, I'm happy to leave everything and go and do that. And yeah, so I, I really, every opportunity was like, yeah, I guess that a little part that you said, like, I've got nothing to lose. It was like, yeah, on the other side of this could be absolutely everything. So I have to do it. I read this book, I say read, I watched the summer on YouTube. But I'll just say, it sounds more impressive. I read this book called The Body Holds the Score. Then if you've ever heard of it. And one of the most fascinating things about it is it talks about how acting and moving the body and like yoga have been proven to be the best forms of antidepressant, like without, you know, taking a society or anything, they've been proven to. And I remember thinking acting is a great antidepressant. How is that possible? But what you're saying now, rings, it talks about how it kind of disassociates from identity when we act. And so what you're saying now seems to validate what I read. I'd love to read that because that's like exactly what I instinctively like discovered. Like it just happened. And I thought, ah, like this is what I'm supposed to do. Have you ever figured out why why acting was a, because I say the word escapism, but why it was so liberating for you? Is it because is it escapism? Is it because it disassociates you from your identity? Is it because you can create this new? There's like two parts of it. It was like how I felt like within my body, like everything floated away. And like the way that it felt to move my body or the way that it felt to like, contort my voice or like whatever. It just like, like that feeling when you're like, can't stop laughing. It was just like incredible. And then there was the way that it made other people feel. And I guess like with acting, with dancing, it was like, it was very, it was very much about the way that it felt and not necessarily the way that it looked or like how other people would experience it. With acting, it's like you get that sort of two way thing. And I also saw the joy that it would bring other people. And like, I guess like you don't, you're like not disappointing. You're like making someone laugh or you're making someone happy or you're like, and that was like, you know, fun and new. Yeah, I was going to say Game of Thrones was a smash hit, but it feels like a slight understatement. I feel like smash it is let's yeah. Yeah. It's huge.

Dealing with fame (34:42)

The fame piece. I've had a smidge of fame, like seven people know who I am. And sometimes it can be a little bit difficult. So I can't even, you know, I can't even imagine, especially with the sort of confounding factors of your age, just trying to figure out who you are becoming famous for being a character on a huge show. And being in your sort of adolescent years, all of these things all at the same time. When you look back and you know, and you remember you saying about how people were like forecasting you're down for because of all those factors. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It, it, that actually the strangest thing about it, the hardest thing I think was like needing to articulate who I was and what I loved and things that I didn't like and what I had an opinion on and what like, you know, yeah, that I remember at the time being like, Oh gosh, I really don't know anything about anything. I really need to know these things. I need to, you know, like, you know, years later you go like, Oh, I said that my favorite film was this and like, that's not true. And it's like, you don't need to know any of that stuff. No, like it's all, it's all just like a journey, right? It's all like, there's never like an end. What advice would you give that person? 13 year old? Amazing. To be honest with you, like I wish that I'd have just like trolled it all a bit more. And like whatever, I like, instead of really digging deep and going, Oh, what is the real art just like whatever you feel that day? That's okay. And it can change the next day. Because that is just like life. You don't have to be beholden to anything that you've settled on. You can let it all go and like rip up the rule book. I hated London, moved back to Manchester, went to New York and they're like, actually, I'm going to go back to London. Like this is what I'm going to do now. And it's not going to be like something that you're like, Oh, I wish I hadn't done this. Like you're like, no, this is, this is what I want now. And that's like, that's just sort of the way it is. So I kind of wish that I'd have just like, you know, not just like tortured myself to know like, what is the real answer to these like silly, fun questions. And then been like, Oh, no, I've like portrayed myself all wrong. This is not who I am. Because it's just it's like, it's like water. Would you, would you change the timing of the events that happened in your life? If you could. Like acting when I was super young. The only thing I really feel like we didn't have a lot growing up, but like I've, I've never. You grew up on a council in a council house. And like, you know, have always had like a awareness of how hard my mum worked, like raising us, giving us everything that, you know, she did put in field on the table. You know, but I never, I remember like when I was sort of like 18 and a lot of my friends started going to uni getting jobs, whatever, I remember, there was like, I was like, I never, even though I know what that struggle was like growing up, like I've never like struggled to get a job or struggled to make rent or anything like that. And I think not that I would change that, of course, like I'm so fortunate, but I guess like I never wanted, I never want to lose sight of like the perspective of like, just how fortunate that I've been. And like, just how tone deaf it is for me to believe that I like would understand what it's like to, you know, to struggle to make rent and want to be a creative person and not know whether to get like a sensible job or to like, because I don't know what that struggle is like at all. So yeah, I know that like I sometimes worry that I'm like alienated in some ways because it will happen when I was so young and like literally from the age of 12, I've been like sat for life. And that's like very different to how I was like before that age. Is there a mixture of emotions surrounding that like being sat for life at 12 as you grow? And I've sat here with a couple of guests who come from like a council, a councilist day or grew up in very difficult situations. And they often express this kind of I remember Jack mate doing it, express this kind of almost guilt is a bit of an interesting word, but like, why did I like I remember Jack saying to me I can make thousands and thousands of pounds. I'm just making YouTube videos and I watched my dad not make the same amount of money in like a year or whatever. And I could just make it from one YouTube video and he would go back and feel he'd meet someone I remember him saying he met someone in a pub that was like a cancer doctor. And he's making more than them just sat at home. Anyone who expresses this kind of like, I don't know, guilt or injustice. Have you ever felt that? Definitely like just yeah, like the guilt around like allowing yourself to have nice things or do nice things because you're like able to. Like I felt like when I was a kid, everything stopped happening and all my problems were going to go away. And then like all my problems didn't go away. And then I was sat for life when I was 12. I thought all my problems are going to go away. And I was like, well, this doesn't it's not like that unless all of my friends and family are that way too. Because like how are we all supposed to like be okay if the only one person is okay. And you know, you give people what you can but you don't see the pain, take that take the pain away for another person doesn't take the pain away for yourself. And then you realize that like actually life is something else entirely. And like the biggest problem that a lot of people face is making money and like making enough money to live and like support their family. But being able to do those things isn't in it like the only thing that like makes you happy. Like when you take that problem away, there's sometimes still a very hard discussion that you have to have with yourself where it's like yeah, like a fundamental chat where you have to tell yourself that well, I don't know, it's a lot of things. I don't want to take away from the fact that like having money enables you to like even be able to comprehend or like another set of problems. Yeah. Yeah. And that that in itself is like an incredibly privileged position to be in. But like money won't take the pain away. It will take like the stacking bills or you know, or the fear of like losing a house. You know. It doesn't undo trauma. You can't buy, you know, trauma away. Yeah. Yeah. Keep the heat on and the electricity and feed yourself. There's still there's still for many people another level of trauma which money can't seem to solve for directly. The post game of, you know, I remember saying he was one of the guys from One Direction, Liam Payne.

Your identity after game of thrones (42:29)

And he talked about how post One Direction, he has this identity, which is he is a part of a boy band and then leaving that it can be quite troublesome psychologically. I think he talked about the same thing, which is like, who am I? Where do I belong? How do I then go and I don't like find out who that person is and start creating for that and not just being this character, this, you know, member of a boy band that I've that the world knows before. Did you ever feel that post game of thrones? Yeah, in a way, but I felt like I had got to a point already within being in the show that I was like, oh, I feel like I'm like cosplaying as this like person I've created. And I don't think that this really is who I am. So sort of leaving the show meant that I could leave that as well. You know, I kind of like wanted to like say the right thing and do the right thing and like act like I had everything figured out and like be a good role model and you know, which is all very good things to want, but it's like it wasn't like very authentic. It was like just like trying to be liked, I guess, right? And then you're like, oh, I actually, you know, I don't want to do things that make people like happy because like I want to do things that make me happy. And like I want to, you know, represent myself the way that makes me feel most comfortable and not like just the way that's the most like palatable or like whatever. And so I'd already got to the point where I was like, oh, this isn't really me. And I'm like desperate for something to just like drastically change. So I was like in like cut from that and that's sort of what happened when the show ended, then also sort of sped up by the pandemic and being like in like solitary. So I was kind of like very ready for that. And it wasn't like, oh, who am I? I was kind of like, oh, who could I be? You know, 21, 22 years old. How are those years for you? So this is like around the time the show is concluding. I think it concluded when you're 22. Yes, when it came out. Yeah. I just didn't really go out a lot. And I just felt quite, I just, I don't know, it was just like the most successful it was ever going to be. And it was like most people would like recognize you on the street. And like I had just got so like rehearsed at like, oh, thank you. That's so nice. And I just like everything I said and felt and did, it was just like, oh, none of this, it was like, I just, I felt like very going through the motions of life where it was like, yeah. I like singing again. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It wasn't like the hardest, like most awful and traumatic, like, oh, it was like terrible. It wasn't. It was fine. And it was just like, I knew that something better was coming. At the age of 20 years old, how did you feel about yourself? Oh, I didn't really have a very like good opinion of like myself and myself image. It's, I forget that. I really didn't like myself that much. I don't know. I just told myself that I was like awful and disgusting and like an attractive and unkind and like just like not a good person and like unlikable. I just told myself that like every single day. And so in ways I sort of became like that because you just like beat yourself into like a mess, you know, mind is quite powerful in that way. Yeah, really powerful. Fern talks to me about this a lot. I know you did her podcast, right? Yeah, yeah. I listened to her chatting about this on your podcast. Yeah. Yeah. Do you know the origin of those, of those of that self story, like where, where it originates from, obviously you have a thread that most people don't have, which is the world is giving feedback on you every day now because you're in the press and you're a young woman and we know that that can be a pretty vicious thing. But do you know the origin of those self stories? I feel like I've, I've felt self conscious, like even before all of that. So it definitely, before like fame and so it definitely was enhanced by that. But I think it came a lot earlier. And I'm actually still trying to figure this out. Like at the moment with my therapist, we're trying to really trace that back. And a lot of this like has come, a lot of the discovery has come through meditation. I've been doing a lot of transcendental meditation and like there's something about going into that state that like brings up like a little ticket and I go, ah, like that's, but, but I haven't quite figured out the answer to this one yet or where it like initially stems from. But I've definitely felt like embarrassed of myself or ashamed or like, you know, thought, oh, like I'd be playing at kids house and thinking like their parent thinks that I'm like awful. I'm like the child that all parents don't want their kids to hang out with. Like I just felt this way about myself and I was like, you know, I wasn't trying to get them to do like naughty things or anything. I just was like a kid that was just like, but I thought, you know, I'm like, like, I'd go to someone's house and I'd like my shoes, like maybe they're not in the right place and I haven't put my bag in there. And this parent is going to like not like me or like whatever. I've like felt that like self awareness to that degree where I've like critiqued and like beat myself up like since I was very, very small. Yeah, I don't really know. I don't know where it comes from yet. I'll let you know. Well, the question I naturally ask is when when was the first time someone told you those I mean, the even example of like, Oh God, have I put my shoes in the wrong place? Well, you know, what happens if they're in the wrong place and what's the consequence of my shoes being in the wrong place? Because me growing up with my shoes were in the wrong place. There's not really a consequence for that. No, yeah. Yeah. I don't know. Well, I have some theories on it. But I don't know. It doesn't concern just me. Sure. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, just like I think that I've like I've witnessed like people just feeling like just them existing in one spot is like them just taking up too much room in this world. And I think that I've like just taken on a piece of that where like just living and breathing, like you're too much and like you're irritating. So but it's not true. And if anyone ever feels like that, it's not true. Because we can know these things are objectively not true. But it just this is the thing that really fascinates me is like, how can we have how can we in one and one hand know that something is not true? Yeah, seemingly we're not able to completely eradicate that story. Because that, you know, I used to think definitely used to believe before doing this podcast that these stories we believe this evidence we have, whether it's wrong, true or false about ourselves, I used to believe that there was some way of just like erasing it. And you just do this, you do this, tap your head, you wiggle your stomach like that. And then it's gone. Good. A therapy twice. You do this spin around and it's gone. But no matter like I don't think I've ever met a guest on this podcast that has gone through some kind of traumatic early experience in their life and has ever erased it. Ever. People will say they've you know, they've built new evidence which counteracts it so that the new evidence makes the decisions in their life, but it's still there. And traumatic events can make it flare up. I'm one of like I consider myself to be one of those people where I've got to be very aware of my triggers because you know, they might take over the control room once in a while. It's not calling the shots. I feel like, I feel like just like experiencing it all in the moment is interesting and like not sort of like predicting that there's like an end to it, but you go like, huh, I have been in this situation before and like last time I wasn't aware of these triggers and now I see exactly what's what wants to happen and I'm not going to do it. And like there's the piece of your brain that's like actively making those decisions and going but then there's the like, I don't know, consciousness or like, you know, the spirit that then observes it and goes, huh, like what happens next? Like you're playing a board game, right? And like something happens and then like you're sort of above it and you go, where will this go next? And every time that your brain doesn't manage to do that, it's not like going straight back to that place, that point, even though like that's the way your body's reacting. It's like you're still at this point in the journey of life and this is how you're experiencing it in this moment. And like it's not like, oh, you failed at like healing because like there's no end to it. It's just, you know, in this moment, what can you, what can you, what can you learn? Your brain has gone back there, even though like previously you've managed to avoid this or you've managed to sort of like avoid a trigger or like, you know, rewire something. But it hasn't this time. So it's like, what can we learn from looking at it this time? How do I see it differently to a time when I would have like done this before? And it just, it keeps going. Like every minute is like an opportunity to like see where it will go next. And it will never be erased because like it's a vital part of who you are. And like without it, like you're, you would be an entirely different person. It's like, what is that film? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He like gets his relationship removed from his brain basically. Wait, yeah, no, he's. I haven't know that. Yeah. I've heard about this thing called the eraser test, which they do on people, which just sounds exactly the same. Yeah. It's important. It gives you, it gives you, you know, all of the tools to make decisions in your life.

Would you erase any areas of your life? (54:03)

If I could give you an eraser, would you use it? Not a single piece. Why? Because I feel, I think that there's a point in everyone's life where they experience firsthand that life is extremely unfair and it can happen at any point and it's unavoidable, I think. Well, I don't know. This maybe isn't, in a few years I might have a different answer to this question. But the things I experienced when I was a child, no person should ever experience at any point in their life. But it's taught me so much. And I feel this like complex, like, like these complex or deep emotions that are ultimately what I use every single day as an actor. And I can, I can, I can recall those things and I'm, I don't know that. I'm grateful for that. I'm grateful to understand the deepest pain and fear and also like the most liberating joy and freedom. And like maybe you don't have to go through those awful, awful things to feel that, but I did. And you know, this spectrum of emotions that are like within me, I feel like incredibly fortunate for. Because I think that that is something that's different about me. So you go through that phase after being 20, you go through quite significant, what's the word self disparaging, self hate, as I've heard you described it. You find it hard to think or say nice things about yourself. Have you overcome that?

Are you able to say nice things about yourself now? (56:46)

Because when you did that interview with Lewis, you were talking as if it was in the past. Yeah, I desperately wanted it to be. And I still do. I think that I've got like a lot better at it. But you know, whenever, whenever, you know, I sort of fall back into pain or whatever, it always comes back to like this fundamental feeling that like I'm just not worth like any of it. Like I'm just like not worthy of like, you know. And that's like, it's like, it's hard to combat that when you're like, well, but I'm really, really talking to myself differently and I'm really trying to like put up boundaries and I'm trying to really respect myself and like do, you know, treat myself with some respect. And then you just like still get to this point where you're like, so that's like difficult. And like that is something that I struggle with and I have like, you know, periods of a long time where that doesn't happen. And then, you know, periods where it comes back again. But yeah, just like keep combating it and telling myself that it's not true and that I am like, I'm worthy of everything in life of, of whatever I want from life. Has, has, um, has anything helped? Truly. Not like, you know, we say, oh, this helped. Here's five tips to help you bullshit bullshit. We write in our books and stuff, but has anything truly helped to advance that feeling of worthiness? Yeah, I meditation and spirituality, which are two things I didn't have a relationship with for my whole life up until 2021. So yeah, five minutes ago, five minutes ago. Yeah. So just last year, everything, everything really changed after that point. I you did mushrooms, didn't you? No, it was, it was just made a transcendental meditation. Um, uh, and, and then like a couple of like very, like surreal, life changing, spiritual experiences, just like in day to day life, like not high or anything, um, that I just like couldn't ignore and I felt like, Oh, I'm like, I'm not alone. Like, you know, like there's something else, um, even on like the hardest days, like there's something here that's like gonna be there, like gonna, you know, take care of me. Um, yeah. And so that's like easier to then just like keep going, you know, when you were 22, you talked about, um, previously having issues with substance abuse.

Issues with substance abuse (01:00:09)

Uh, yeah. Well, yeah. Did you talk about that? Have I just inferred that from you use the word substance and I mean, I, I feel like I spoke about this a little bit on Lewis. Yeah. Yeah. Like, I don't want to undermine it, but I guess who might say like what normal teenagers do and what normal teenagers don't do. Um, but like, you know, I like party, like took a lot of hard drugs and like partied when I was like a teenager. Um, and I was in the position where like I could buy more, but I didn't really do that. You know, to a terrible degree. We all thought it. I, yeah. Yeah. And, but, but it was like definitely something that I was like, I need to stop doing this if I want to like feel happiness. Um, because that's a slippery slope, especially things like very accessible things like alcohol either. Yeah. You know, I've had people very close to me that have, have become alcoholics because of, you know, trauma they've been through and stuff like that. And do, do you drink now? What's your relationship like with alcohol and stuff? No, not really. I mean, I, I don't, I'm not like sober, but I don't, I don't really drink like in the house or like on a week night type thing. It's usually like with dinner or like, you know, a gay girl with friends or yeah. But yeah, a lot of that is like quite, um, was quite a welcome like release, I guess. It wasn't like something that I. You were so busy as well. It's juggled. If you're filming like 250 filming days per season or per year or something. Yeah. I mean, the whole production. Oh, the whole production. Yeah. But yeah, yeah, exactly. It was, it was, it was like how it was, you know, very busy schedule. A lot of sleep needed to do to get through it. I had a few words to say about one of my sponsors on this podcast. My girlfriend came upstairs yesterday when I was having a shower and she said to me that she tried the heel protein shake, which lives on my fridge over there. And she said, it's amazing. Low calories. You get your 20 odd grams of protein. You get your 26 vitamins and minerals and it's nutritionally complete in the protein space. There's lots of things, but it's hard to find something that is nice, especially when consumed just with water. And that is nutritionally complete. And that has about a hundred calories in total while also giving you your 20 grams of protein. If you haven't tried the heel protein product, do give it a try. The salted caramel one, if you put some ice cubes in it and you put it in a blender and you try it, is as good as pretty much any milkshake on the market, just mixed with water. It's been a game changer for me because I'm trying to drop my calorie intake and I'm trying to be a little bit more healthy with my diet. So this is where heel fits in my life. Thank you, heel, for making a product that I actually like. The salted caramel is my favorite. I've got the banana one here, which is where my girlfriend likes, but for me, salted caramel is the one. Quick one. As you might know, crafted are one of the sponsors of this podcast and crafted are a jewelry brand and they make really meaningful pieces of jewelry. The really wonderful thing about crafted jewelry is it's super affordable. It looks amazing. The pieces hold tremendous meaning and they are really well made. I think I've worn this piece for almost a year. It hasn't broken, hasn't changed color because it's really, really good quality and it costs roughly 50 quid. People will be surprised when they hear that they'll probably assume that all of my jewelry is like solid gold and cost thousands and thousands of pounds. But what's the point when you can achieve the exact same effect from a piece of jewelry that's high quality and cost 50 quid? That's why I buy crafted. Before we start recording, we talked a bit about Ruben.

Romantic love (01:03:58)

Yeah. You've always changed when I mentioned Ruben. Yeah. Yeah. And you're wearing a shirt that he designed? Yes. Created. Yeah. Inspired by these artists called Jean Claude and Christo. It's dope. I don't like who wrapped a bunch of iconic landmarks and buildings in fabric. So cool. Yeah. It's quite cool. It's very me. So what I'm not wearing will black to try and be a sturgeon on the desk on this podcast. How has it been going through trying to figure out romantic love? That was a very difficult thing for me as I talked about earlier. But how has it been for you? What's that journey been like? I think that I definitely resonated when you spoke about rejecting a lot of relationships, friendships, or whatever, because it's cringe or not real or whatever. I feel like I definitely spent a lot of time doing that and never really confronted the part of myself that I know was desperate to love and be loved, but I didn't really know how or didn't really know what that looked like or whatever. I don't really know how deep to go with this. I never had relationships where I was mistreated. That was mostly because my trauma response was whenever there was any hint of conflict, I was like, "I'm out." No, I don't. I've seen this one before and I'm not going to be headwinked by this. But the truth is, they were just nice people and I just ran away. And cut off whatever emotions were there and I'm just like, "I'm really sorry. It's not really going to work," type thing. And then confronted with someone like Reuben who... Confronted. He's like, "Stop." I think that I met someone who, whenever I would start doing that and start going like, "I'm not going to stop." He saw it within me and was like, "You see what you're doing. You're trying to sabotage yourself again." And you can do that. "I'm not going to stop you." Yeah. It was the first time that someone was patient enough, even though you're really trying to push them away, to be like, "That's fine. I'm not trying to tell you not to, but just observe what is happening right now." You can sleep on it for a month if you want to find whatever. And it was the first time that, yeah, I realized this pattern that I hadn't been able to catch before. And yeah, it's been incredible. It's been four years now when we live together. I've never knew that peace and joy and happiness and coexisting with another person could be this way. I never saw this in my life. It's just all new and all beautiful. So interesting how sometimes it takes a certain person to get over that wall. And it's funny because I feel the exact same way we try and stop people getting over the wall because it feels like self-defense. It's totally self-sabotised, but we try and prevent them climbing the wall. But then if that person can get in, they can go about writing a new set of evidence. We talked about evidence. That wall is essentially evidence. It's a shield built on faulty evidence from another experience. If they get over it, they can help us go on the journey of making new evidence. But it's very difficult to get over. And then eventually something they do can just get inside that last line of defense. And it's good when they do, right? Because you can learn how wrong you were about so many things you believed. And then you go like, "Wow, every single thing that I define myself as, it can all be different." And that's like real freedom, I think. That's one of those little pieces where everything you thought you knew about the world just like changes, you can then be like, "What else am I wrong about?" Or like, "What else?" Not like even right or wrong. It's like, "What other ways can I experience this? Like what other, how else can, yeah, like what new sort of like possibilities are there for like who I am and what I'm going to do?" Who are you?

Who are you now? (01:09:43)

And what are you going to do? I am a, I'm like a kind and sensitive person. And I want to, I want other people to feel happy. Like I want to, I can't like bring, like make people happy. But like I want to consider it of like people around me and like how they might be feeling or whatever. Why is that difficult to say? I don't know. I don't know. If I had to like really think about it, maybe it's like, like if I, if that's like really who I am at my core, which like I really feel like I'm speaking from that, there's pain there because why was I made to like feel like I was such monster, you know? It's painful because I think like if I take away all of the things that I project and like, oh like I'm someone who like speaks their mind and like, I don't care what you think, but I like take all of that away and I'm like, who am I really? And I actually just like, you know, like someone who's quite sensitive and like wants to make, you know, wants to be considerate of the people around them. Like why do you just like keep putting things in front of you that are going to stop you from just like being that when who you truly are isn't a bad thing? Like, there's not bad qualities to have as a person. So why, like why, you know, why am I so ashamed of that or like whatever, you know? Like why, yeah, why am I tripping myself up to like not be that? Maybe because like once that wasn't good enough, right? And I'm telling myself like, you know, that's not good enough. Yeah. It seems like it makes sense as an explanation. Yeah. I was thinking as you're saying, I was thinking, well, you know, if you, if at one point you had to be someone else or you had to be, you had to meet expectations in order to be told that you are good enough expectations that were unmetable. You might spend your life dancing from one expectation to another just trying to please the world's expectations. And I know you know now because I've heard you talk about it that expectations are really trying to meet social expectations. Anyway, really are the slippery slippers and quite the word, but it is quite a thing. Slippery slippers. Maybe a good phrase to use because it's all down from there. Isn't it? Once you start playing that game, it's the self destructive spiral down to a place that's hard to climb out of. Like, maybe I don't value just like, like, just kindness and consideration in other people. I'm just spitballing on this, by the way. Yeah. So much. Yeah. Well, it makes you think you don't value it on other people. Well, just because I have this other sort of theory that I've been like stewing for a while where it's like, you hate them, like you despise the most, like what you are. Or like you're, you're, you reject the most, like who you are inside. That would make sense if who you were was rejected, right? If you were told that who you were is not a good person and that is a belief that you have, then if you see that another people, you think, well, that's not a good person. Yeah. Yeah. Wait, can you see that again? That's as long as it takes me. No, that's fine. I'm just spitballing as well. But you said that kindness was a quality that you, in other people, either didn't, you thought you weren't, didn't like it. Yeah, maybe it's something I don't value enough. I don't, like, if I don't think it's, I'm what, like, if it's... Well, you were told not to value it. Right. In a sense, because you were that and it was negatively reinforced. Yeah. Yeah. I'm just guessing, but... Yeah. Because we both, um... Yeah. What is success to you? If you, if you look back in 10 years from now and say I was successful over those last 10 years, what would that be? Well, there's like a lot of like tangible things that I want to do with my career. No, no, no. Right. Okay. It's like, you can't... Exactly. Yeah. But like, I mean, I guess success would be like, underste... Like, knowing in my soul that like, I deserve any of any of those things. Or like, like just, um... Feeling adequate. What is success? Well, I've already said that I don't feel like it's a destination, right? It's like happening every second. It's not like it can't look, I can't stand on the other side of success and look back and be like, well, look at that moment. It's like what you look back on. It's every like, every time you're at a crossroads or a decision and like, how, what did you choose to do? That's all you can control. It's like, what's happening right now? Like, are you going to choose this path or this path? Like, are you going to behave one way or another way? Are you going to do the things that you don't like about yourself and continue to do them or are you going to like, do it differently? And you're going to like, talk about yourself in a different way. Like, and that's like, it's every second. And there's no other side to it. I don't know, maybe enlightenment if you, if you believe that. But it's about the journey.

What does success in the next 10 years look like for you? (01:16:36)

You're 35 years old. You sat here again. Yeah. And you go those last 10 years. Yeah. They were good 10 years. Yeah. Which I'm sure you will say. But if we sat here, you're 35 years old. I'm like, bed by then, I'm like 75 or something. I'm just 30. And I'm like, I'll be 40. So I love all my 40 year old listeners. Thank you. I can't subscribe. But you're 35. I'm sat here and I'm 40. We're looking back on the last 10 years and we're going, yeah, that was really, really a great 10 years. What would have had to have happened in your estimation for that to be true? I guess like control, oh, no, control, that sounds like, like, I guess it would be like looking back at all of the moments and, you know, seeing, seeing the conscious decisions that were made rather than just like acting on impulse, right? I guess success would be like, that was a point that was really challenging. And like, I feel really proud that I didn't slip back into that old habit or I didn't like, you know, I didn't like just go completely selfish and think like, oh, my problems are the worst in the world. Like, I just like had a bit of perspective on when I like picked myself up and I kept going. Like, I guess that's like, I would look back on those moments and feel like those decisions like would define those 10 years and I'd be like, proud, like proud of that. Yeah. Do you have a sense of mission about you at all? Mission, definitely. I mean, the freedom and like the joy that I feel through performing. And I've like, it's changed my life, right? And like, we're at a place where, you know, there's a lot of people who want to like, you know, make art creative people who want to sustain a lifestyle of like making art and like, you know, whether that be acting, seeing, you know, writing. And now I guess like the mission is like, I want to build companies or like, you know, work with people and like kind of continue the ethos of like, you know, pushing creative people to be able to sort of like sustain a life of like, you know, creative work. Because I'm like in a very fortunate position where I do what I love and what I do also brings me money. And the way that the work makes me feel is like the best thing ever. And like that, those like three things I think are like a foundational piece of like being a like a human. And like, it's like, should not be as hard as it is for like people to be in that position. And I, when I, when I'm down about like the world and like, like whether it's the government, the environment or like, like anything, I like kind of wonder, I'm like, what if like more people could do what they love for a living? Like, would we actually be in like just in a better place? Like, not that those things like influence any of these like poor decisions, but like, I see like so much, there's a lot of pain, like, there's a lot of pain in the world. And like life causes people a lot of pain. And I, yeah, I just, I feel, I feel like, you know, art and like expression through art and like channeling, like creativity. I wonder if that would contribute to making the world a better place. I want for that to contribute to making the world a better place.

Self-Reflection And Personal Growth

Your personality is very different now (01:21:05)

You're a very different person to the person I watched in all of the previous interviews. Yeah, well, I don't, I still the same person, but I definitely have a different perspective. When I watched, because you did a few interviews about three, four years ago, and in those interviews, just like, I don't know what it was, you were very, very high energy. Do you know what I mean? Yeah. Very, very high energy. You seemed to, yeah, exactly. Sorry that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You seem to just be very considered and, that's the right word, very considered and a bit more calm now. Then, oh, now. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think that that's like exactly how I feel. And like, it's so, like, it's so exhausting, like, performing in that way. It's not fulfilling. It's not real. It was like, I guess I was that way as like an escape from the, like the quiet, like I didn't know what was going to be in there when I like stopped. I think that it's like quite a scary, even though like on the other side of like self discovery or like trauma healing, like on the other side of it is like the answer to all of your problems. Like, it's terrifying. It's terrifying to look inside you because you've always told yourself that like you're not good enough and like it's terrifying because you're worried you're going to look inside and be like, oh, all of those things are true. But no, it's terrifying to be like, wait, maybe like I am actually worthy of like a good life. And maybe I'm like stopping myself from doing that. Like that's a crime. That's not like, and I think, I mean, it's like, I've said this a lot, but it is a journey. But I think it's like a scary thing to start buying off. And then once you start buying off, then you start to realize like how selfish that you've been and you don't like yourself for like a number of reasons. But then you start to, it's like not other reasons to dislike yourself, but it's like, you just, I don't know, I feel like I like this, you have one life and like, and I've been spending all of this time like stopping myself from doing it. And like that's awful of myself to do that, but it's also to do that to yourself. It's also just like a waste of all of that. And there's like that other perspective. Yeah. But yeah, just like stopping and having that, having that sort of conversation, I guess, like with myself has like, it's changed everything. It's changed like, and it's been in so much better now. So much better. And it's less tiring. People don't want to go near that onion. Yeah. You know, they don't want to go near it. And it's funny because I, you know, sometimes with my own naivety or my own mindset privilege or because I'm someone that loves introspection, I'm like, go and peel it back. Go on, peel it back. Go on. Why don't you peel it back? Let's go to therapy. Let's talk about it. Yeah. You know, I must be a pretty difficult friend to have if you don't want to peel back layers because I only want to peel back. I don't want small talk. Yeah. Yeah. But I sometimes encounter people that don't want to peel back the layers. And it's frustrating because you, you see the consequences of unpilled back layers everywhere in their behavior. And you think, well, you just need to peel back the layers and you'll find the source. Once you know what the source is, then you can go about solving against it or understanding it. But yeah, I don't know what to say to people when they don't, they don't, I guess it's none of my business. And everyone in their own time, some people maybe will never start the journey of understanding themselves and healing and peeling back layers. Yeah. Sometimes people who you love and are very, very close to and like you'll never be able to control that or like force them to or do it for them. Was there a catalyst or something that helped you to take that step and start wanting to peel back layers and understand? Was there anything that or was it just the pain of staying the same was greater than the pain of making a change? I've definitely always been searching. I think like I had always been searching, but I never knew like how to go deeper, how to like, yeah, okay. And I think, yeah, Reuben meditation therapy, the pandemic, like, well, because we were just at home every single day, like a lot of variables like stopped shifting. So I could track my mood like more accurately because like there wasn't a bunch of different things happening each day, but I could see like, like, I could see it. So I guess like the stillness, you know, but like you have to, you have to, you have to, you have to choose like what you want. Because comfort sometimes within the pain or within like the onion. And like you have to choose whether like going there is going to be like the most painful thing you ever do, but like have, you know, every possibility on the other side, or is it just like safer to like not and like get by and like it's okay? Because I'm not hurting anyone and like I hurt myself a little bit, but like I can deal with it. It's like that's the thing you and it's like that's a hard decision to make and there's never a right time and like it never like happens as fast as you want it to happen. And you just like have to like that ultimately is a choice that only you can make and you can't make for other people. You can't like persuade them and you can't like, you just have to choose and you have to do that multiple times where you go I'm fixed now and then you're not. And so you have to choose again like am I going to get back on the horse or am I going to not and yeah, just professionally then. Oh, you're facelid up again. I like, I, I, I, I it's very liberating to speak this freely with you in this private setting but like understanding that it's going to be public because I, I've never really done that I don't think.

Were you nervous about coming here and opening up? (01:28:39)

And I'm a bit scared. I have to be honest, like I'm quite like concerned a little bit. It's like creeping in. Yeah. And I really hope that it's like can help the people that it's like, you know, or I don't know what I hope but yeah, I hope that's okay. What is, what is the concern? I don't know. It's just like that. Like the media training part of you that's like, don't say this or sort of. And also because like a lot of things that I've discussed like they do concern other people. You know, there's that as well because it just gets, yeah, I don't know. But it's, it's fine. It's fine. It's going to be okay. Well, I thought, well, I'm just trying to convince myself. Yeah. Were you, were you anxious about coming here today? Um, yes. But I had prepared. Well, no, I just, I wanted, sometimes I'm anxious because I don't know where it's going to go. And other times I'm anxious because I, I like, it's like, are you going to be open or not? Or are you going to be honest or I guess? Yeah. So that was sort of the anxious thing where it was like, you know, I went to morning yoga this morning and I was doing breathing exercises in the car. Because it's like, it's very easy to slip back into the like, yeah, yeah. It's like still a part of me. It's still a very, very prominent part of me. So, yeah. Why did you want to do that today? Why did you, why did you want to be open today? Like, there's a piece that's like missing. And like, if I try and really talk about things honestly, like I just know that there's this like massive like hole that I'm like dancing around the edge of. And I don't think that it like, yeah. I don't think that that like helps anything. So yeah. Yeah. I guess like what I wanted to speak about today and like we've got, we have spoken about it and it's like been a lot more emotional than I, you know, anticipated, but it always is right. But I, it's like, you know, like freedom of expression and like making up really just change everything and like I want other people to, to feel that. And like I couldn't talk about that and without like fully talking about what it helped me escape from, I guess. So yeah.

Why we are all artists (01:31:58)

It's funny with being an artist that we, I used to think that our creating art was exclusive. I said this in our show, we did up and down the cut, you're open with this. I say, once upon a time, I used to think that art was exclusively reserved for people that were like artists. If it's in your bio, then you can do it. You can paint, you can create, you can make music, you can dance, but it only fits in your bio and you've gone to like school for it. Yeah. Everyone else were all like other things. Artists over there, everyone else over here. And it was actually when I left my job as a CEO that I thought to myself at a fundamental level, if I remove all these labels that society's given me, what am I? And that's when I discovered that art in me that had been suppressed because society says you're an artist and I'm a CEO. But we're all artists and that realization has been so amazing for me and my mind and my mental health and all those things. Do you think we're all artists? I do. And I think that there's a lot of words you can use for that that might make people more comfortable with that as a label. But I think fundamentally, since the beginning of time, humans have made things and they've just got increasingly complex and they maybe have altered the human state in lots of ways and the way we think and the way we behave or whatever. We've always made things at our fundamental level. We've used tools and we've made things. And whether you see your approach to life or your mind as more analytical or something, there's still creation. You're still creating things and finding what you create very freely and being able to do that as much as possible is an incredibly fulfilling thing. And it doesn't have to be painting or these very rudimentary, clear artists, industries. I don't know. I've listened to some business podcasts and stuff and they talk about running a company. You can probably have more insights. But when people are doing what they're amazing at and other people are doing things that they're amazing at and you don't get people to do things that they're very slow and don't understand or don't like doing or like. And that's how you can move very quickly. And so it's like, but what about like the whole world? Not that the whole world is like a company or whatever, but like what if we could all do what we're like that comes effortlessly to us? Yeah. And it's not just like a bunch of people sitting around painting. It's not that at all. If you think about artists as like that very sort of like, but if people were like free to create and to like explore their mind and like, you know, express through building, through making. The thing that people sometimes struggle with is they will say, well, I've got this job and I can't do that. I'm a, you know, I've got to go to this building site and I've got to do this thing and I've got a cleaner. So I've got to do this where I've, you know, I work in the supermarket or I'm a driver. So I can't be an artist. I can't create anything. Sorry, amazing. Yeah. Well, and this is what I always want to be like incredibly, I guess like from that perspective, yeah, I don't have a clue like what I'm talking about, right? And it's like, it's all like very nice like in theory, but like get in the real world and like I understand that perspective. And that's why I think it's like a like a, like a, like a problem like that's rooted through like even the way that like children are like educated, like all the way through to like the way we see like our working lifespan, like. But I believe I in some of what you're saying, you're saying, wouldn't it be wonderful if everybody could get to that place? If that was even if it's a, you know, and I personally think that I really would love, you know, if I could wave a wand and everyone listening to this could maybe take one thing away from this from my, from how I've received it. It's like, we don't have to give up on that dream of creating just because like I remember working in call centers. I remember doing all of those things, but I would, I would also prioritize as much as I possibly could. In the context I'm in and everyone's in a different context, not one that I can speak to that the way out of that for me was like owning my, my own space of creation, even if that meant home and like playing a video game where I got to like build a virtual world or in the case of me, it was I was building this business called wall park. And it's actually more so now that I'm like learning to DJ and I'm like doing these shows and writing these books that I'm like, no matter how much I get caught up in my identity of like building businesses, whatever, I should always reserve a split space for like creating if possible. And that is so good for the mind. I hope everyone, because I know everyone listening to this, there'll be a guy, you know, driving up in a lorry listening to this right now, but he knows he loved playing the drums. And at some point he told himself that, oh, I can't do that. That's silly thing. That's a distraction. Yeah. So waste the time. That's the worst one. Yeah, I think like the like snowball of like opportunities that like or possibilities that it opens up when you just like, yeah, you don't tell yourself, no, I can't do that anymore because I don't have time or I don't have, you know, it's like, yeah, I have to do this instead or I have to do this instead like switching switching like a little portion of your week over to like freely creating. I think it can bring incredible things.

Nothing is a waste of time (01:38:20)

Waste of time is a really interesting concept that I've I think in the last two weeks of doing this podcast, I was starting to think a lot about it was actually last night, someone said to me, oh, we should watch them. They say prison break. And I remember like my brain when that's a waste of time and then I corrected myself to them and I didn't say it to them. I remember going, do you know, nothing is really a waste of time because you can think about the way creativity works and how we source inspiration from so many random things. Nothing is and also if you just if it relaxing is not a waste of time, but I think we've been quite conditioned to see if it's not productive and resulting in some kind of, you know, quantitative ROI. It's a waste of time. What's your relationship with time and empty time and space and well, I mean, it's changed a lot, but I think like currently I don't like I don't try and like control like time. This is taking too long. This isn't like, you know, this needs to happen now. Like, oh, I should be doing this, but I haven't. I've spent like a lot of my time like I spent a lot of my time like torturing myself over like whether I spent time in like the most like like useful way or whatever. But now it all it I feel like we've been said something recently because like we've been talking about time a lot and like sort of this discussion of like, is it linear like and this is kind of like, you know, quite like can be quite sort of hypothetical or whatever dense things about like the history of the universe and like what we all are and what it all means. But he said something very interesting recently where he was like, I feel like what time can do is like arrange itself before you. And like he sort of talks about like his schedule like sometimes in a week like there's a million meetings and they're all happening at the same time and it's like, are you going to go like, I need to change everything that he was like, or do you just like let it be? And then it magically kind of like this person needs to do something earlier and this person needs to do something like later. So like these calls will move and we need to counsel because so got COVID like he was like it like if I like stress and try and manipulate my calendar to be like perfect. One, that's really, really stressful. And two, I don't do that and it sometimes just like it most of the time just sort of falls into place. And so I've always thought that was really interesting. So in those times where I was like, I need to be doing this right now, but like I can't do it. I can't focus. I can't whatever. I am like the space, the block of time where I'm supposed to do this is going to find me. Sounds like I'm like avoiding all responsibilities. No, it makes perfect sense to me because we, there's many ways I, many ways I received that. The first one was just like, okay, I can't control the future anyway. So there's so much anxiety surrounding trying to. The second thing is that like my priorities and what I care about will end up shaping this all anyway. So like if this ran over by a couple of minutes and I wanted it to run over, that's fine because I made the conscious decision that this was my priority versus I don't know, walking my dog or something. And so my priorities, my values will hopefully lead me. And then there's loads of things out of my control, which is not for me to worry about anyway. So the future should be somewhat fluid and accepting that's not always an easy thing, but it's probably a better way to look at our time. I want to enjoy the journey. So you're enjoying the journey, right? Yeah. More so now than ever? Yeah. Good. Yeah. Are you? Oh, yeah. I'm enjoying the journey. Yeah. Yeah. Like every day, I think I've just always just taken every day as it comes and like some days I do really shit and that's okay. But I can't do anything about it now. So I just try and try my best to just, as I said earlier, like channel that into like linings, feedback and being better. We have a closing tradition on this podcast, which you might be aware of.

Closing Remarks

The last guests question (01:42:43)

It's where the last guest writes a question for the next guest. Oh, cool. Now I have, okay, I haven't seen this. So they don't know who they're writing at for and you will never know who asked it. Okay. And I don't get to read it until now. This person has a bit of a interesting handwriting. Okay. Mine is worse, I'll say, but here we go. What's the last decision you made that went completely sideways plus what did you do? To correct it. Brackets if you could correct it. There's like a lot of different things that I'm thinking of and I don't like. Okay. So I have been working in Paris recently as, you know, and I was diagnosed like a year and a half ago with ADHD and I take medication every day and I like prescribed that in the UK and I'm like working in France. So I ran out and like, couldn't get any more in time to like go away. I don't know if this is going to be like insightful. No, it needs to be insightful at all. To correct it, I tried to get some sent over, but that like wasn't working for lots of different reasons. But I guess like the main thing that I did was like stop beating myself up about like, not like organizing it better so as I had it because I was already feeling like terrible. But you know, torturing yourself over this and telling yourself, oh, you could, you could have your medication right now if you'd have just, or if you'd have just done this, then you'd be fine right now. But instead you're going to struggle like instead of sort of going down that path, I just was like, it's done. I can't change it. Like, I can't do this. Like, like my, my brain is like hitting a wall with like, you know, I don't know to do list or like whatever. And I just have to ride it out. What made you want to go and get checked for ADHD? But then even that assumes you wanted to go get checked. I've been speaking to a psychiatrist for like a long time. So he's known me for quite a while. And we've sort of like, yeah, between him and like therapy that I do sort of more actively. Like more regularly. Yeah. And he suggested it. Yeah. Yeah. And it made sense to you. It did like a lot of the things that I like noticed about myself. Like I always remember my mum being like, yeah, but you know, I struggle with this and I struggle with that too. Like, you know, and I think she raised me knowing all the things that she knew about herself, like in a very particular way. And I got to do a lot of things that came very naturally to me. And she was sort of forced to do things that like she just, you know. And so, but it was like funny because he was sort of telling me all these things. I like, yeah, but my mum does that. And he's going, yeah, runs in the family. Oh, interesting. So yeah, it was quite, it was quite an interesting thing just for me and my mum to go through actually. Yeah. And like had more perspective on myself, but also like more perspective on her too, which is kind of cool. What is your relationship with the mum? I realise I've not mentioned her. Yeah, we haven't. My relationship with my mum is in a really, really good place now. No. I mean, she, it's like it has been my whole life. She, I mean, she like kind of gave me the greatest gift of all and just like supported whatever it is that I wanted to do. And it kind of led me to like the most extraordinary places and we did a lot like together. And in more recent years, I think I've like, well, you know, grown up, but also sort of like, you know, been more independent. And like that is like adjusted our relationship as it does, like, you know, very naturally. But it's just been like interesting for the two of us to navigate that from being like quite in ways co-dependent, you know, like she travelled with me when I was like between the age of like, like 12 to 16, 17. And like those are usually the years when everyone's like, "Mum, like you're not cool. I don't like you." And like me and my mum were like thickest thieves and we just like travelled the world together, like me and her. So we were like very, like very, very close and like, like had a, you know, we still are. We still have all those things. But it's just been very interesting like, you know, growing up and having, like having parts of my life that I like just simply my own and like parts of my career and struggles with my career that I get through on my own because like, you know, I, that's okay. I can do that now. And just like the way that that's been like strange for us both, I think. Was there a point with your relationship with your mother where you started having those difficult conversations about the things you were realising about yourself and your past in? Is there, because I'm just, I'm not that close to my parents. So I've just never had, I've never had those conversations. Yeah, like we, yeah, we've definitely had like those conversations. Yeah, it's like incredibly painful. Like, yeah, I think there's like so much pain, you know, that you have like in your own experience but like, you know, you, it's, yeah, it's like, like very painful to think about like people that you love like being in pain as well or like whatever. Yeah. Well, Maisie, thank you. Thank you for, thank you for coming here today and thank you for having this conversation with me. I learned so much from, you know, everyone I speak to but it's interesting. You're such, I feel like, I feel like you're, I feel that you're such a good human being at your core and it almost, yeah, it's difficult for me. I feel like you're such a pure, good human being, you know, and so I really like feel, I feel like every tear you've cried and I feel all of your, all of your pain as well. I've never actually got up and hugged someone during the conversation. But no, you are, you're such a beautiful, pure human being and I'm so deeply hoping that you, you get comfortable with that truth too. However long that takes for you because it is the truth and because of that is the truth, it means that you're so deserving of so much more so than I am. You're definitely, you are, you are, because you are, you are literally like a, within there you are a complete ray of joy and sunshine and love and kindness and all those things that I'm striving to be even better at. So thank you and, you know, thank you for your honesty because it's unbelievably difficult and it's easier not to be but you, you won't even get to see all of the, the people that it serves and helps in so many profound ways. So that's what I want to thank you for. And your suit and it's just tremendously inspiring. We didn't even get to talk about how hard you've, you've worked professionally. We did a little bit of, of, but to achieve all the things you've achieved at such an unbelievably young age, but that inspires me and your openness and honesty inspires me, your wisdom inspires me and, you know, I'm so excited and you're 25 which is unfair. It's like crazy. It's crazy that you've done so much and you're such a beautiful person, that's such a young age. So thank you, Maisie. Thank you. Thank you for having me. And thank you. Thank you for this incredible podcast. I think you, as you have spoken about, have a real range of guests, but I think that you, you approach everyone on like a very sincere and like, consistent level. And I think that like you as a person are like very real and that sort of brings out like a real openness and the people that you talk with. But you also like clarify at every sort of point any part that you don't understand, which not only makes it helps you understand, but it brings like the audience in a way that like a lot of other people don't, whether because like they don't want to ask questions because they don't want to look like they don't know or whatever, like you are like very authentic and like it's incredibly calming to be around. So thank you. Huge compliment. Thanks, Maisie.

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