Her luminous good looks made her the star of Little Dorrit and Upstairs Downstairs. As she prepares to light up our TV screens once again, Claire Foy talks to Gerard Gilbert.
Claire Foy is running late for her interview in the first-floor private dining room of a north London pub, finally phoning to say: “I’m downstairs”. “And I’m upstairs,” I reply, which is all very droll because Foy is of course one of the stars of Upstairs Downstairs, BBC1’s reconstituted version of the Seventies ITV classic about toffs and servants. Except that today the toffs are downstairs, or rather the cast of ‘scripted reality’ show Made in Chelsea are shooting an advert for the fashion chain River Island. “How exciting,” says Foy when she puts her head round the door. “It’s Made in Chelsea downstairs… I can’t believe it.”
What chance the cast of Made in Chelsea returning the compliment: “It’s Claire Foy upstairs… we can’t believe it”? Have they even heard of her? The difference is that while the solipsistic Sloanes are chasing fame for its own sake, celebrity is a by-product of Foy’s job. She is, however, the real class act in this building, a fact momentarily disguised by her munching a Danish pastry from a paper bag. “Breakfast,” she says between bites. “I’m lucky I have a fast metabolism… my whole family does… everyone’s got a lot of nervous energy so we burn it off.” Continue reading A class act: Claire Foy on criticism, tumours and embarrassing sex scenes