Miss Potter star Lucy Boynton on the impact of being a child actor

Lucy Boynton wants to rebel against her “inclination to obey” which she was taught and praised for as a child actor.

Boynton, who starred opposite Rami Malek in Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, rose to fame aged 11 with a leading role in Miss Potter, alongside Renee Zellweger.

The 28-year-old actress, who recently starred in The Ipcress File with Peaky Blinders’ Joe Cole, said obedience was “praised and valued” as a young actor, which she now finds “strange”.

Miss Potter World Premiere
Lucy Boynton and Oliver Jenkins attend the world premiere of Miss Potter in London (Joel Ryan/PA)

She told Josh Smith on his Reign podcast that therapy was the “turning point” which made her realise the “impact of acting at such a young age”.

“You realise that so much of being an actor when you’re a kid is about being obedient, and that is a really wild thing to have ingrained in you as a young girl, especially at the age of 11, which I think is a very, at least it was for me, sponge-like time when you are growing up into a more independent soul and coming into yourself.

“That’s the age where you start to really absorb the subconscious that forms you and to be taught that obedience is so praised and so valued.

“I’m now reflecting on what a strange thing that is to comprehend as a young woman.

“When I see that now and the inclination to obey rather than buck against a system, now I recognise it and I’m like, OK, I want to flip that. I want to do the opposite,” she said.

Boynton, who starred in Netflix series The Politician and the 2017 version of Murder On The Orient Express, added that in the last few years she has been much more “tuned in” to her feelings.

“You start to tap into all of the things that you have absorbed into your subconscious and that becomes how you see yourself in the world and how you value yourself.

Lucy Boynton and Rami Malek
Lucy Boynton and Rami Malek (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“Then I started to really focus on, ‘how am I, how do I see myself?’

“As a teenager, you don’t realise how much of that shit you internalise and just take in your stride and I think now we’re getting better at identifying that mental health is something worth talking about,” she said.