"I had been struggling pretty badly for ten years. In a very Irish way, I was going 'I'm fine. Maybe I'm not sleeping enough."
Newry-born actress Valene Kane, star of BBC2's Death and Nightingales has talked of her long-term anxiety and how her confidence was crushed straight after her time in drama school in a beautiful cover story in the new issue of Irish Tatler.
Speaking of finding new balance in her now happy life thanks to a combination of quitting sugar, taking up yoga and giving her anxiety a name, the actress who is married to Downton Abbey's Ed Cooper Clarke admitted that she went through a bleak time before finding her new zen.
"I think you get into your thirties and you question everything," she told Liadan Hynes in the Jan/Feb issue of Irish Tatler. "Am I doing the right thing? Do I want children? Is my relationship good?"
"I found that it was just getting worse," she said in the candid interview. Currently filming a gangland drama in London, Kane has enjoyed a successful film and television career to date, having previously starred with Dornan in The Fall and as Felicity Jones' mother in Star Wars: Rogue One. Her latest film is Sonja: The White Swan, in which she plays the co-lead and which has just been selected for the Sundance Film Festival.
The interview is accompanied by a stunning fashion shoot, shot on location at Huntington Castle and featuring new season pieces by Louis Vuitton, it-labels Rixo London, Shrimps and Irish designer Simone Rocha.
Sharing her mantra for a new, happier life, Kane also admits that she has used her anxiety to her advantage, helping her hone her craft. "It took me a while to build my confidence back up again. I think I built it up in a way that made me a better actor. Not the blind kind of confidence that you have when you're younger."
She even questioned whether a hunt for fame was at the root of her desire to act, something that can derail even the most confident of players. "I had to really question myself: 'Ok, why am I doing this? Do I want to be famous? Because if it's fame, I need to stop'."
Valene Kane stars on the cover of the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of Irish Tatler magazine, available to buy now.
Photography by Louise Samuelsen, assisted by Marcus Cassidy
Styling by Sarah Macken, assisted by Martin O'Neill
Makeup by celebrity makeup artist Christine Lucignano using Drunk Elephant Skincare and Hourglass Cosmetics
Hair by Joe Hayes at Toni & Guy
Interview by Liadan Hynes (see the full interview in the print edition of Irish Tatler, Jan/Feb 2019)