Vanessa Kirby admits she still suffers from crippling self-doubt

Sarah Ilston
·2-min read
Photo credit: Vittorio Zunino Celotto
Photo credit: Vittorio Zunino Celotto

Vanessa Kirby has revealed that she still suffers from career anxiety and enduring self-doubt.

Speaking on the latest episode of Make It Reign: The Podcast, the 32-year-old actress explained to host Josh Smith that she was 'very sensitive' as a child, and even as a successful actress now, still doesn't 'back herself enough' — describing feelings of self-doubt as 'really painful'.

Kirby is best known for playing Princess Margaret in The Crown and most recently, a woman consumed by grief after losing a child in Netflix's Pieces of a Woman — a role which has earned her numerous Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA and Oscar nominations.

But despite her marked career success, she still suffers from anxiety and feelings of imposter syndrome, something she thinks is down to the comparison culture we live in today.

'I was a very anxious person, very, very sensitive. I think that's probably part of why somehow I always wanted to be an actress... because I felt things very deeply,' she explained to Smith on the podcast.

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'I don't think I back myself enough and self-doubt is really painful. Essentially that voice that's saying, "you're not good enough", or "you did that so badly", or, inherently a core self-belief of not being enough.

She describes living under 'constant comparison pressures' as being a 'painful place to be,' but has realised, through working alongside prestigious actors, that everyone suffers from feelings of self-doubt.

'You always have that slight imposter syndrome that you never forget,' she explained. 'I remember the first time I worked with [Sir] John Hurt [who played Ollivander in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone], he was nervous before a scene and he said to me, "I'm just worried I am going to be found out."

'I think everyone has a sort of slightly imposter syndrome all the time and looking over your shoulder, being like, "am I legit?"'


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