Bella Ramsey reveals film she watched to wind down after prison drama role

Bella Ramsey stars in Time (Suzan Moore/PA)
Bella Ramsey stars in Time (Suzan Moore/PA) Bella Ramsey stars in Time (Suzan Moore/PA)

Actor Bella Ramsey has said she would watch Pixar film Finding Nemo to wind down after playing her most “hardened” character to date in prison drama Time.

The 20-year-old, who has appeared in Game Of Thrones and The Last Of Us, stars in the BBC series as Kelsey, a drug user navigating the prison system.

Appearing on the red carpet for a screening of the first episode at St George’s Hall in Liverpool, Ramsey said: “She puts on this incredible front where she doesn’t want anybody to see her vulnerability, so in a way she’s like one of the most hardened characters I’ve played, because of that front, but inside there’s this deep, blistering vulnerability that is very much there.

“It was hard work. We did long days and it was intense subject matter.

“I had to come back and watch Finding Nemo a few times to get me out of it.

“It was an amazing experience. Whenever I get a chance to do something as intense and as gritty I jump at the opportunity because it’s what I live for.”

Writer Jimmy McGovern, who also penned the first series starring Sean Bean and Stephen Graham, said he was not previously aware of Ramsey but his grandchildren were and “couldn’t believe” he was working with the actor.

The writer said he had been converted to a superfan and said Ramsey was “really, really good”.

He said the new series, set in a women’s prison, was “intense” and would show viewers “everything that’s wrong with the British prison system”.

McGovern, who wrote the drama with Helen Black and visited women’s prisons for research, said the dialogue was different to that in the first series.

He said: “In a women’s prison they talk and talk and talk. You could learn more in one visit to a women’s prison than in 10 to a men’s.”

Julie Graham, who plays Lou in the series, said the cast bonded because of the dark subject matter.

She said: “Because the subject matter’s so heavy, you have to become close quite quickly so then there’s a real bond there.”