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How did you feel when you won the role of Rae Earl in My Mad Fat Diary?

All my auditions were in London with the casting director, Jane Ripley, and it was a long process.

I had to do four or five auditions. I couldn’t believe I’d got the part. Even now, I have to pinch myself that I’m actually playing Rae!

How important was it that the show portrayed Rae’s journals and mental illness with honesty?

It was really important, and not just to me.

I didn’t want someone who’s been through the struggles Rae has, or is currently going through it, to be thinking: “That’s not what it’s like.” It was important to make Rae as real and believable as possible.

Do you feel a responsibility to how people react to the show? It would be naive to say I didn’t, of course I do.

The people who have tweeted me or sent messages have all been extremely kind. It’s been overwhelming. They feel Rae is someone to look up to.

If she can get there, they can get there, too. Most importantly, the majority have said how they no longer feel alone.

Rae struggles with body image issues –are we too preoccupied with looks?

I think sometimes we can be. It’s nice to take pride in our appearance, but looks aren’t everything.

It’s good to make the most of what you’ve got and accept yourself.

Some things you can change, some things you can’t. Sometimes we forget our good parts and focus on the flaws.

We all have days where we think we look good, and days where we don’t. If I see someone when I’m out who looks great I’ll happily tell them!

A little compliment can make someone who’s feeling low get a little spring in their step.

Does TV promote an unhealthy idea of what ‘normal’ is to people of all ages?

That’s not for me to say, everyone looks different. Some people are naturally thin the same way some people are built bigger.

We should be aspiring to be the best we can be so it would be unfair of me to say that. I do think sometimes there’s a false idea of how people look on TV and in magazines.

I think it would be nice to see a range of sizes and people on TV and in magazines.

Realistically, if you walk down the street you see so many different shapes, sizes, haircuts and styles, so it would be good to see that reflected on screen.

Sometimes the things you think make you ‘not normal’ are what other people love the most. 


Interview - Sharon Rooney: The Glaswegian actress on starring in E4's hit show 'My Mad Fat Diary'
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