Jameela Jamil using lockdown to become ‘less problematic, less ignorant person’

Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter
·3-min read

Jameela Jamil has said that lockdown has given her time to “investigate, learn, read and educate” herself in order to become a “less problematic, less ignorant person”.

The actress and TV presenter, 34, has spent lockdown in Los Angeles with her boyfriend, the musician James Blake.

Jamil, who hosts the I Weigh podcast about mental health and body positivity, said she was grateful for the time to reflect as she had been too busy in recent years.

Jameela Jamil on the cover of Grazia (Grazia/Josh Stadlen)
Jameela Jamil on the cover of Grazia (Grazia/Josh Stadlen)

Speaking with transgender activist and model Munroe Bergdorf for Grazia magazine, she said: “For the last couple of years, I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to learn and I think that contributed to a lot of the mistakes I’ve made.

“This has given me space to really investigate, learn, read and educate myself.

“I was so busy (before), I didn’t have time to really know what I was talking about all the time and I feel very grateful for this pause in being able to, hopefully, become a less problematic, less ignorant person.”

Bergdorf asked how she planned to take these lessons out into the world post-lockdown.

She replied: “I think I’ll come out of this a more calm, thoughtful and careful person, more aware of the damage of having a 280-character Twitter word count.

“Now I have the podcast and YouTube channel I don’t have to compact all of my thoughts and that’s amazing.

“Now I have time and space for nuance and context, because without that I got f****** on Twitter.

GQ Men of the Year Awards 2019 – London
Munroe Bergdorf (Matt Crossick/PA)

“It’s understandable for the public to not trust powerful people, so I’ve always known that everyone has always read the most evil possible intention into my every move, they always think I’m manipulative or I have an ulterior motive.

“No one can believe that I would genuinely just want to try and help.”

Jamil also addressed a recent anti-racism video featuring a group of celebrities, including Aaron Paul and Kristen Bell, saying it appeared “very performative”.

The video, posted earlier this month, saw them repeat the phrase “I take responsibility” and pledge to work towards “eradicating racism” in the US.

Jamil said: “I like some of the people in that video and I don’t think any of them had bad intentions, the problem is it appears very performative.

“Like you want to show people you care, rather than engaging in actual action.

“Nobody gives a flying f*** about celebrities and their ring lights.

“They want money and legislative pressure for change.”

Jamil, who worked as a presenter on T4 before being cast in hit US show The Good Place, said she was heartened by the younger generation.

“I feel very proud of Gen Z,” she said.

“Everything they are doing makes me feel jealous because they’re so much more creative, emotionally intelligent and clued up than we were.”

Read the full interview in Grazia, on sale now.