Graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2007.
Was working as a receptionist in a physician's office and was about to go on tour in Dubai in a production of Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' when she was asked to read for a role in ITV's Downton Abbey (2010).
There's something about wearing clothes that your great-grandmother might have thought were nice that makes you look older.
In a way, it's good not to be recognized as much off screen.
There is no way I'd have wanted to live in the Twenties. It was really crap for women.
If I'm tweeting about being somewhere, and I haven't replied to somebody's email from three days ago, that's quite rude.
Playing a plainer role means everything is dependent on the credentials of the actor, not the fact that they are as pretty as Julia Roberts. People start to look at their talent rather than their appearance. And playing the ugly part often means less time in the make-up chair, which is a great benefit on set.
I did all sorts of jobs after drama school - working in a bar, as a teaching assistant. I probably learned as much from them as I did at drama school.
It's beneficial to play against your type; to be chameleon-like.
When I'm in a tricky situation I often think: 'What would 'Beyonce' do?' It helps.
We all have hierarchies at work - even on set, the runner would never walk up to the director and ask for a cup of coffee.
The Twenties have this sort of attitude where you never know what's around the corner.
In the UK, there is a sort of obsession with class.
I'm from Southampton.
I cry at films and TV and even adverts.
I've not sat with my agent going: 'Where is the next hopeless girl I can play?' They just come along.
I have two sisters, and we are the best of friends.
As actors, you play people who are not yourselves.
My history teacher was utterly terrifying, but her lessons were very inspiring. She got me interested in people and stories, which then led me to acting.
When I emerge from filming I feel slightly out of synch with real life, but it's also a relief.
Sometimes we do things that are really awful.
No one goes through life thinking that they're the best friend of the lead character.
I think as an actor you're used to having to travel, so wherever the work, is you're willing to go.
I think it must be so hard to start your career with everyone going on about how gorgeous you are. To be in that bracket must be so pressurized.
I've been really lucky because I've managed to become wonderful friends with a handful of very talented British designers. Christopher Kane has become one of my very good friends - also Erdem. Jonathan Saunders is another brilliant talent who's very kind. We all hang out.
I'd love to work in the States; I'd love to work anywhere where you get a good script and a good part to play. But I do love British film as well.
I certainly never saw myself as posh.
I grew up listening in awe to stories of their wartime adventures. My granny, Joan, was a journalist and wrote amazing letters to my grandpa when he was a prisoner of war, while my Nana, Mary, was a Land Girl, then a Wren. They were so independent, resilient and glamorous.