Life Lessons with Vanessa Kirby

The Editors
·2-min read
Photo credit:  Josh Shinner
Photo credit: Josh Shinner

From Harper's BAZAAR

"I think it's essential that we share stories about grief," Vanessa Kirby tells us on the set of her April issue cover shoot. "It unites us all; we all have to grieve. We all lose people we love, or things we love, or relationships... I think when we share our pain, we feel less alone. Grief, in my experience, is such an isolating, lonely feeling."

Grief is a subject central to Kirby's latest film, the moving Netflix drama Pieces of a Woman, in which she plays Martha, a first-time mother whose baby dies moments after being born. The film follows Martha’s subsequent disintegration, alongside that of her close relationships. It launched earlier this year to rapturous reviews and critical acclaim, and saw the actress, in her first lead role, shortlisted for some of award season's most coveted gongs.

"The minute I read the script I knew it was just so important, in the sense that there are so many women who have gone through it and felt a lot of silence around it or unable to talk about it," she explains. "So I just hope in some small way that this little movie helps people speak out about it where they've found it previously difficult."

Photo credit: Josh Shinner
Photo credit: Josh Shinner

As part of her preparation for the role, Kirby was able to be present for a woman's labour and birth - an experience which she says not only profoundly moved her, but also taught her a lot about pain.

"What I saw her do in those seven hours, was like a total surrender that I'd never seen before," she recalls. "It taught me a lot about painful experiences in life. No matter what they are, anything difficult that you have to go through - even if it's day-to-day, a small thing - pain is sometimes essential. And is maybe a journey to something wonderful."

Watch our exclusive video above, in which Kirby discusses what she's learnt about motherhood, grief, confidence and love.

The April issue of Harper's Bazaar is out now.

Photo credit: Josh Shinner
Photo credit: Josh Shinner

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