Time star Bella Ramsey was 'genuinely afraid' of taking on season 2 role

The actor wanted to get things right for the the BBC drama

Time 2,Kelsey (BELLA RAMSEY),BBC Studios,Sally Mais
Bella Ramsey plays Kelsey in Time season 2 (BBC)

BBC's Time is returning for a second season, this time bringing viewers into the world of a female prison with a new cast, including Bella Ramsey and Jodie Whittaker.

Ramsey takes on the role of prisoner Kelsey, a 19-year-old drug addict who discovers she is pregnant over the course of the series and goes through some "traumatic" experiences.

The Last of Us actor, who uses they/them pronouns, has reflected on the matter and how she felt "genuinely afraid" to play the part, but shared how meeting real women like her character helped to inform her role.

Time star Bella Ramsey was 'genuinely afraid' of taking on season 2 role

Time 2,29-10-2023,1,Kelsey (BELLA RAMSEY), Abi (TAMARA LAWRENCE),BBC Studios,Sally Mais
Ramsey has said that she was "genuinely afraid" of taking the role in case she couldn't get it right. (BBC)

Kelsey, Ramsey said, is "full of life" and added: "She’s a bit of a joker and very young, immature and lost.

"But, on the other hand, she's seen far too much. She's 19 and faced a lot of difficulties in her life which sends her to where she is now."

However Ramsey was tentative about taking the role at first: "In lots of ways, Kelsey is very far removed from me, but as we've been filming and going through this I've found a lot of similarities and it was so natural for me to play her.

"But initially, when I read the script, I was genuinely afraid I wouldn't be able to do it. I'd get on set and then it just wouldn't work. But thankfully it did, I think."

Time 2,Abi (TAMARA LAWRANCE), Kelsey (BELLA RAMSEY), Orla (JODIE WHITTAKER),BBC Studios,Sally Mais
Ramsey stars in "a lot of traumatic scenes" in the series, but the actor felt "supported and safe" with their co-stars. (BBC)

Ramsey also explained that series 2 saw them act in "a lot of traumatic scenes", though they stipulate that their co-stars and the show's creative team made them feel "supported and safe" throughout the process.

"What I love about doing this is that every take you find something different," Ramsey says.

"The Time storylines are so real and alive and the stakes are so high. I'm quite good in between takes, I'm good at not carrying things with me.

"One of the things that I've done since I started in this industry is, after an emotional scene, as soon as they say cut I pull a stupid face or do a massive smile to let everybody know I'm fine.

Time 2,29-10-2023,1,Kelsey (BELLA RAMSEY),BBC Studios,Sally Mais
Ramsey met with a prisoner who had similar experiences to Kelsey, which informed their performance (BBC)

"With the bigger, more physical scenes, it's much easier to snap in and out of because you have so much adrenaline. But with the more quiet and introspective, ones, I really tried to stay in a bit more."

They were keen to find speak with real prisoners during the process of making Time, and Ramsey had a particular connection with one woman who lived through similar hardships to Kelsey.

"I talked with somebody who was about to be released in five weeks – she'd been in and out of prisons since she was 15 and was addicted to cocaine and alcohol," Ramsey reflects.

Time 2,29-10-2023,1,Abi (TAMARA LAWRENCE), Kelsey (BELLA RAMSEY),BBC Studios,Sally Mais
Ramsey has said that their character is "very far removed from me" (BBC)

"Although her story was different, hearing her talk about addiction and how it feels in your body was really helpful for me.

"It was amazing that she was so open and shared with me – I don't think I'll ever forget going there and hearing her story.

"She said something that I carry with me, especially into the scenes where Kelsey is really struggling and really needs the drugs. She said that you feel addiction everywhere in your body – if you want the hit and the whole of your body wants it, it's almost like electricity coursing through you."

Time season 2 premieres on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday, 29 October.

Watch the trailer for Time season 2: