In an interview published Wednesday, the 34 year-old opened up to WSJ. Magazine for its February issue about her academic struggles, crippling anxiety, and juvenile arthritis

By Maura Hohman
January 09, 2019 10:15 AM
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Credit: ALASDAIR MCLELLAN FOR WSJ. MAGAZINE

Claire Foy is a mainstay at awards shows these days, but before earning her A-list status, the actress says she had to overcome a challenging childhood.

In an interview published Wednesday, the 34 year-old opened up to WSJ. Magazine for its February issue about her academic struggles, crippling anxiety, and juvenile arthritis.

After recalling that she “was relatively good at home economics, at making cakes, and I was quite sporty,” the First Man star revealed to the outlet that she “had juvenile arthritis from the ages of 12 to 15.”

Foy described how the condition — which causes the tissue that lines the inside of the joints to swell — affected her childhood.

Claire Foy
| Credit: ALASDAIR MCLELLAN FOR WSJ. MAGAZINE

“I was on crutches … [The arthritis] was extremely painful,” she said, adding that she would often lie awake at night because of it.

The Emmy winner also shared that school often made her “[feel] stupid.”

“[It’s] not a nice thing. I wasn’t really good at anything,” she explained. A particularly tough subject for Foy was math, which may have played a role in her developing anxiety as a kid. She still struggles with mental health today, the mother of one told the magazine.

Claire Foy
| Credit: ALASDAIR MCLELLAN FOR WSJ. MAGAZINE

“Anxiety was part of my life at that age, but I didn’t realize that was what it was until my mid-20s,” Foy shared with WSJ. Magazine. “It’s not as bad as it was, but that’s through a lot of work, doing things that I never thought I would do.”

The actress said she now uses therapy and meditation, as well as an app called Calm.

“I know that I need to catch myself early in a process of overthinking,” she told WSJ. Magazine. “It’s always about questioning myself. Even though I have had a thought a million times … it will always be something I need to think about another million times that day. It will be like, ‘Shall I go for a walk today?’ or [about] massive life decisions.”

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Because Foy’s childhood was challenging, she’s actively trying to give her daughter, 3-year-old Ivy Rose, experiences she didn’t have. (Ivy’s father is actor Stephen Campbell Moore. PEOPLE confirmed Foy and Moore separated in February 2018.)

“We never had enough money to travel,” Foy mused to the magazine. “[It doesn’t have to be] fancy, just swimming in a pool, a time that is happy and [about] exploring.”

Claire Foy
| Credit: ALASDAIR MCLELLAN FOR WSJ. MAGAZINE

Despite her growing resume, the star still prioritizes her family over her career, she said.

Claire Foy
| Credit: ALASDAIR MCLELLAN FOR WSJ. MAGAZINE

Foy shared a similar point of view in her cover story with emmy magazine published in November 2017.

“In what profession am I allowed to have a child, breastfeed my child on set and have them say, ‘It’s great. Good for you. You are working and you have a baby’? ” she said. “I was very, very fortunate they supported me in doing that.”

She added, “I can’t imagine anything worse than being away from my child for six months. I couldn’t.”

WSJ. Magazine’s Talents & Legends issue hits newsstands on January 19th.