Bridgerton star Polly Walker says she struggled at the beginning of her acting career as a single mother in an industry that was “not geared to support women bringing up children.”
The actress, 55, who plays Lady Featherington in the hit Netflix show, said there was “no sisterhood” when she started out and she was forced to rely heavily on family members for help with childcare.
She is also well known for her role in BBC’s Line Of Duty, in which she plays the formidable Gill Biggeloe, historical drama Rome and the 1992 film Patriot Games, in which she starred alongside Harrison Ford.
Speaking about Bridgerton’s return, she told The Daily Telegraph: “For many years I struggled as a single mother in an industry that was not geared to support women bringing up children.
“It was difficult for me to stay in the game. I often thought about quitting.”
“When I hear of people taking maternity or paternity leave I do feel envious.
“Today I hear a group of actors have set up childcare so that people can go off to auditions.
“But nothing like that existed for me. I relied heavily on my sister and my parents”, Walker said, adding that her children “were not welcomed on film sets”.
She said there were “more treacherous times” when she began acting, saying: “There was no sisterhood when I was starting out.”
Walker said her children see their mother and “‘Polly Walker the actress’ as very different entities” but that she has enjoyed “celebrating our journey together as a family”.
Her children, Giorgio and Delilah, recently accompanied her to the series two premiere of Bridgerton, which is now streaming.