Jodie Comer has said she often worries about her weight and appearance when going for acting roles, and that she feels a need to look a “certain way”.
The Killing Eve star said an actor’s talent will not necessarily secure them a role, and that appearance is largely taken into consideration.
Speaking to Killing Eve writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Elle UK magazine, Comer said: “A big thing is trying to accept that, with acting, the reason for getting a part or not getting part isn’t always about your talent or how talented people think you are; a lot of it is about your looks.
“Always worrying about the way you look or your weight for certain roles – that has always been a big insecurity of mine.”
Comer, 26, added: “Growing up as a teen, I always struggled with my weight and body image.
“What I’m trying to do – and I feel like I’m succeeding a little bit in – is to be accepting of the fact that … I always put a stress on myself having to look a certain way, when you are who you are.
“Your ability to act, or whatever your job is, is worth so much more than how you look.”
Of her role as the psychopathic assassin Villanelle in the hit drama series, Comer said she enjoys having people believe that she is like her character.
She said: “I relish it. I think it’s fun getting people roused up, so then when they meet you, they’re like ‘Oh, you’re not a bitch or homewrecker’.
“It’s fun to see people have gone with it and they’ve believed it.”
She added that Killing Eve is “definitely the role that has changed things for me”.
“I don’t feel like there’s a show like this, or a character like Villanelle, who breaks so many rules.”
Comer, who has also appeared in Doctor Foster, My Mad Fat Diary and The White Princess, has won global acclaim since Killing Eve debuted last year.
Waller-Bridge said Villanelle was inspiring to her, as she was different from many other female characters.
She said: “Through the writing process, what I found really liberating with her (Villanelle) was that she’s not ruled by insecurities.
“I feel like it’s such a human thing to be ruled by your insecurities, particularly for women.”
The darkly comic cat-and-mouse crime drama sees Sandra Oh play MI5 operative Eve Polastri, who becomes obsessed with Comer’s psychopathic killer.
The programme, adapted by Waller-Bridge from Luke Jennings’s Codename Villanelle novella series, last week picked up 14 TV Bafta nominations.
Elle UK is on sale from April 4.