Unlike her 'Bridgerton' character, Claudia Jessie did not come from an affluent family. She lived in a barge, struggled financially, and battled with mental health issues at a young age.
There is a reason why people admire Claudia Jessie's character, Eloise Bridgerton, in Netflix's 'Bridgerton' series.
The fifth Bridgerton child and second daughter next to Daphne (played by Phoebe Dynevor) is such a profound and radical thinker, far too advanced for the Regency era when debutantes are presented at court.
While the rest of the young women are obsessed with the prospect of finding a husband, Eloise spends half of her time unmasking the identity of the mysterious Lady Whistledown. The remaining half, well, she spends it trying to dodge balls and parties that might set her up with potential suitors.
The truth is Claudia Jessie does not share a lot of similarities with her 'Bridgerton' character. She was not born with a golden spoon in her mouth. However, she and Eloise both have the same profoundness that only strong women possess. Here are some interesting facts you might not know about the actress.
Yup, she might be playing a 17-year-old girl in the Shondaland series, but Claudia Jessie is actually 31-years-old in real life. She's born on 30 October 1989, and her full name is Claudia Jessie Peyton.
Claudia Jessie has been practicing Buddhism for almost 14 years now. Her aunt has been practicing it for 30 years, and she introduced her mom to it too. The practice has saved her from being suicidal when she was 17 and kept her grounded in the flashy world of showbusiness.
"My favorite bit when I'm acting is when I'm doing the pretending to be someone else. And the stuff that kind of comes with it. I think Buddhism massively helps me. So, yeah, the propensity to want to compare yourself...we're human, and we'll have ideas of what success looks like. Buddhism has allowed me to not be swayed by praise," the actress said in an interview.
Claudia Jessie's performance in 'Bridgerton' is exemplary, but believe it or not, she didn't have a formal acting class before breaking into the entertainment industry because her parents can not afford it.
“My family were so poor,” Claudia told the Belfast Telegraph in 2018. “My mum would clean houses to maybe get me to a ballet class, bless her. My dad – when he was still about – I don’t think he worked. We were fighting off bailiffs at the door.”
Claudia Jessie's had a tough life and even a tougher struggle with mental health over the years. This is one of the reasons why she doesn't have any social media account.
"Social media provokes more anxiety in me, looking at images of other people, and at comments about myself, and I've got a natural propensity to not be very nice to myself. That's common among us all. But mine feels particularly dangerous. My inner monologue - she can be quite mean," Jessie said in an interview at Belfast Telegraph.
In a separate interview, she further explained her reasons behind staying away from social media.
"There are things I know that don't go well with me, and I won't do them. So, with social media, I know I would be able to procrastinate. I would be able to compare myself to others. And you know what? Props to the people who don't and can be on social media. I think it's incredible. But I know that it's just not something I'm interested in. And I don't feel like I'm missing anything. "
Claudia Jessie enjoys a quiet life with her partner Joseph aboard a houseboat. The couple recently renovated it so "they can glide up and down the canal network of their hometown.” She fell in love with living on boats because she and her family used to live on a barge when she was young.
Birmingham School of Acting playwright and director Hannah Phillips spotted Claudia in an amateur drama production as a teen.
“For some reason, she saw something in me and then put me in every play she made,” the actress recounted during a Belfast Telegraph interview.
At 21, Claudia entered Pink Space, an LGBTQ+ theater company run by Hannah, where she said she felt belonged.
She performed on a play called Heterophobia at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art with Pink Space. After the play, she decided to pursue her passion and moved to London to find an agent.
Moving to London to pursue her career was a bold decision for Claudia Jessie. It's like scenes from a movie about a strong female lead doing everything to follow her dreams. Just like what every protagonist in these inspirational films experience, Claudia struggled and faced countless rejections.
"And, of course, I was rejected by everyone," Claudia told Belfast Telegraph about arriving in London to pursue acting.
To survive, Claudia juggled several odd jobs and slept on her aunt's sofa. She worked in pubs, walked dogs, did promo work for Capital FM in Birmingham, England, and made market-research phone calls for shampoo brands and the BN Biscuit brand.
She told Sunday Post that she spent five years doing any task she could find. “I was just doing anything I could to earn money,” she added.
Aside from her superb acting skills, Claudia also has a knack for music. She's a talented pianist, a singer, and a songwriter. Take a look at this underrated music video released almost a decade ago, long before Claudia became the shining 'Bridgerton' star that she is today.
At 14, she left traditional school and was home-schooled by her mom. The reason why she left isn't clear, but Belfast Telegraph seems to indicate that the switch was due to her misbehavior in school.
Dealing with anxiety and panic attacks can take a toll on any person, but Claudia found the perfect way to deal with internal problems, thanks to her long practice of Nichiren Buddhism.
‘When I was growing up, if I was struggling with something internally, I would chant, and I’d feel better,’ she told You.
Want to see more of Claudia Jessie? Stream 'Bridgerton' on Netflix now! You may also check out this season 2 predictions and preview we wrote right here. 'Bridgerton' season 2 is officially happening, so we will see Eloise and the rest of the Bridgertons back again soon.