Jessica Barden says posh stars like Emma Corrin should not play working class characters

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Jessica Barden has said stars like Emma Corrin should not play characters from less privileged backgrounds, labelling it ‘working class tourism.’

The actress, 30, was born into a working class family in Northallerton, North Yorkshire and her mother worked as an accountant while her father worked as a prison officer.

She takes exception to stars like Emma, who recently said they wanted to star in a ‘gritty’ independent film after playing Diana in the Crown and have an ‘outrageous accent’ and red hair.

Jessica is the daughter-in-law of Happy Days’ legend Henry Winkler, known for character Fonzie, after tying the knot to his screenwriter son Max in 2021.

But the screen star has shared that she feels that if she gets a script for a ‘gritty’ show or film, it means she is playing something being abused.  

Jessica Barden says posh stars like Emma Corrin should not play working class characters

Hitting out: Jessica Barden has said stars like Emma Corrin should not play characters from less privileged backgrounds

Jessica does not think posh actors and actresses should venture into the realms of playing working class characters in shows and films.

Speaking to The Sunday Times Culture magazine, she said: ‘I hate words like gritty or feisty. 

‘Gritty means working class and feisty means you have an opinion. I die inside when I read them.

‘I was, like, why are you allowed to talk like this? How is working class tourism still OK for posh actors?’

Jessica, who now lives in Los Angeles with husband Max Winkler, also revealed that in the acting industry, she is one of very few working class stars.

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During her career, she has played roles including Pea Gibbons in Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth at London’s Royal Court Theatre.

In her role, she was a drunk teen who came out from underneath a caravan worse for wear during the show. 

Her Yorkshire background is in stark contrast to Emma, who was born in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

The star was privately educated at Woldingham School, went to Cambridge and had a father who was a businessman and a speech therapist mother.  

Something new? Jessica takes exception to stars like Emma, who recently said they wanted to star in a 'gritty' independent film and have an 'outrageous accent' and red hair

Something new? Jessica takes exception to stars like Emma, who recently said they wanted to star in a ‘gritty’ independent film and have an ‘outrageous accent’ and red hair

Elsewhere, Line of Duty star Vicky McClure previously spoke out about being a working-class actress.

Vicky, 35, from Nottingham, most well known for her role as DI Kate Fleming in BBC drama Line of Duty, said that ‘money’ helps when you are starting out as an actor, but if you are from a working class background, like her, then it can be a struggle.

She told Stylist magazine: ‘If you’re auditioning, you need to be in London. And that’s expensive: to get a train, to print out a script. Little things that people would not think about if they’ve got money.’ 

The actor also revealed that she still lives in Nottingham as her family, including actor husband Johnny, will always come before her job. 

Talking about being from a working class background the actress, who has also appeared in This is England, said: ‘In some ways people question you: “Well, you don’t look very working-class.” And you go, “Does it matter?”.

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She went on to say: ‘I didn’t feel poor as a child because we weren’t, we were working-class.’

The actress also spoke about how family was her number one. She said: ‘My job will always come second. When I’m on my deathbed, I’m not going to go, “I wish I’d worked more.” I’ll think I wish I’d spent more time with people I love.’

She went on to say that she gets so much out of her job, but loves spending time with her husband, Jonathan Owen – who is a Welsh producer and actor having starred in Shameless and Murphy’s Law, and the rest of her family. 

Vicky, 35, from Nottingham, is most well known for her role as DI Kate Fleming in BBC drama Line of Duty, but said that 'money' helps when you are starting out as an actor

Vicky, 35, from Nottingham, is most well known for her role as DI Kate Fleming in BBC drama Line of Duty, but said that ‘money’ helps when you are starting out as an actor

Born and bred in Nottingham the actress was raised on a council estate in Nottingham before going on to attend a free acting school in her home city. 

Through her association with director Shame Meadows she rose to fame with a role in his comedy drama A Room for Romeo Brass before going on to appear in This is England and its subsequent TV spin-offs. 

The actress starred in every series of Line of Duty, which was well-received,

The first episode of series five was watched by a 7.8million people in 2019- making it the most watched show of 2019 so far.

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