You might recognise Emma Appleton from shows like Clique, Traitors, and The Witcher, or her most recent film The Last Letter From Your Lover, but it’s her upcoming roles that will cement her status as a British star on the rise. In 2022 she’ll be on screens playing lead role Maggie in the TV adaptation of Dolly Alderton’s bestseller Everything I Know About Love, and Nancy Spungen in Danny Boyle’s biopic of the Sex Pistols, Pistol. "My worst nightmare is doing the same characters that look the same, sound the same and dress the same. I love the transformative aspect of it the most", she says.
She’s making good on her word. Maggie is not just likeable, but relatable to almost any woman who experienced being a teenager in '90s middle-class English suburbia - from the experience of drinking cheap supermarket alcohol and talking on MSN, to the trials of female friendship. Nancy is, on the other hand, the most “unlikeable” character of Emma’s career thus far, she admits.
“It’s interesting, whenever I mention Nancy to people, they go, ‘oh, what a nightmare of a person. She was really difficult.’ No one ever says, ‘God, she was so troubled with mental health, what else was going on there?’ Maybe she was misunderstood.” Emma continues, “I'm not trying to get people to like Nancy, I'm trying to get people to understand her a bit more.”
We caught up with the Rollacoaster cover star to discuss how she goes about understanding even the most inscrutable of characters, why she was a fan of Alderton’s Everything I know About Love way before the casting, and the darker side of the modelling industry, which she experienced when she first moved to London.
Emma Appleton wears Kate Spade.