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Suranne Jones on 'I Am Victoria' — 'I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone'

Suranne Jones in I Am Victoria.
Suranne Jones in I Am Victoria. (Image credit: Channel 4)

Suranne Jones gives an emotionally raw performance of a woman buckling under the weight of anxiety in the first episode of C4’s thought-provoking returning anthology drama series I Am... 

The three-part female-led series also stars Mum actor Lesley Manville and Black Panther star Letitia Wright in two more powerful standalone stories, with each film tackling themes including relationships, mental health, and empowerment and developed in collaboration with the leading actors.

Suranne plays Victoria, a mum-of-two who lives in a gorgeous magazine-style house with her loving husband Chris (Ashley Walters). 

But underneath, she’s paddling hard to keep up with her seemingly perfect lifestyle — getting up at 6am to do weights, working at weekends, endlessly wiping down her glossy white kitchen, all the while having panic attacks in the shower.

When Chris eventually begs her to seek help, she brushes him off and instead insists on throwing a flawless dinner party for their two best friends to show off their sleek new extension. But with her anxiety bubbling just below the surface, of course, the inevitable happens and she finally falls apart in a devastating fashion.

Here, Suranne Jones, who will soon also be starring in BBC1 drama Vigil, reveals what’s we can expect from I Am Victoria

Suranne Jones on the story behind I Am Victoria

Suranne Jones says: "It’s about a woman who seems to have everything — a beautiful house, a beautiful family, a great job. She looks great, she is a high achiever, and she wants to give her children everything she didn’t have growing up. But we meet her just as she’s about to have a breakdown. It’s a really interesting weekend, which we see on screen. What we see is her unraveling within the course of a few days and her eventually asking for help."

Suranne Jones.

Suranne Jones as Victoria on the brink of a breakdown. (Image credit: Channel 4)

Suranne Jones on what made her want to portray Victoria...

"I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone. I wanted to see what this would bring out. We all know that mental health can come from huge trauma, but I read a quote which said, 'mental health isn’t a novel, it doesn’t need to be about anything' and that has stuck with me. We wanted it to feel like mental health can happen to anybody at any time."

Suranne Jones on acting alongside Ashley Walters who plays Victoria's husband

"Ashely Walters was on my 'desperately want to work with' list. We’d worked together years ago on something called Five Days but we didn’t have any scenes together. I love his work and I mentioned him to Dominic [Savage, writer, and director]. Ashley had also worked with Dominic previously so it was even better working with someone who already knows his style."

Suranne Jones and Ashley Walters as Victoria and Chris.

Suranne Jones and Ashley Walters as married couple Victoria and Chris. (Image credit: Channel 4)

I Am Victoria air date

I Am Victoria was shown on C4 in the UK on Thursday August 5.  This story plus the two others in the I Am... anthology series — I Am Danielle and I Am Maria — are now box-setted on streaming service All 4. I Am Danielle also runs on Channel 4 on Thursday August 12 at 9pm, while  I Am Maria will be shown on Channel 4 on Thursday August 19, also at 9pm. We have no news yet on a US release date so will update when we can, and also if all three stories will later appear on streaming service BritBox.

Nicholas Cannon
Nicholas Cannon

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.