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HomeTv & ShowEmma Appleton details finding her off-screen Birdy and 'religiously studying' Nancy Spungeon

Emma Appleton details finding her off-screen Birdy and 'religiously studying' Nancy Spungeon


Emma Appleton has detailed how she found her own ‘soulmate’ in her partner Alex akin to her character in Everything I Know About Love.

The actress, who has landed the lead role as Maggie in the BBC adaptation of Dolly Alderton’s memoir, posed for a stunning shoot for PORTER magazine alongside her co-star Bel Powley.

In an interview with the publication, Emma also discussed ‘religiously studying’ videos of the tragic punk icon Nancy Spungeon as she prepared to play her in the Disney+ Sex Pistols biopic Pistol.

Candid: Emma Appleton has detailed how she found her own 'soulmate' in her partner Alex akin to her character in Everything I Know About Love

Candid: Emma Appleton has detailed how she found her own ‘soulmate’ in her partner Alex akin to her character in Everything I Know About Love

Emma explained that in personal trainer Alex, with whom she lives in Essex, she’s found a relationship on par with her character Maggie’s bond with childhood friend Birdy (played by Powley).

She gushed: ‘My partner is a big deal in my life, but so are my friends: Alex is my soul mate; the love of my life.’

Emma went onto discuss her character Maggie, who upon moving to London with Birdy, battles with insecurities after her best friend starts to fall in love with her first boyfriend.

Gorgeous: The actress, who has landed the lead role as Maggie in the BBC adaptation of Dolly Alderton's memoir, posed for PORTER magazine alongside her co-star Bel Powley (pictured)

Gorgeous: The actress, who has landed the lead role as Maggie in the BBC adaptation of Dolly Alderton’s memoir, posed for PORTER magazine alongside her co-star Bel Powley (pictured)

Close: Emma explained that in personal trainer Alex she's found a relationship on par with her character Maggie's bond with childhood friend Birdy (pictured in the show)

Close: Emma explained that in personal trainer Alex she’s found a relationship on par with her character Maggie’s bond with childhood friend Birdy (pictured in the show)

Open: She gushed: 'My partner is a big deal in my life, but so are my friends: Alex is my soul mate; the love of my life'

Open: She gushed: ‘My partner is a big deal in my life, but so are my friends: Alex is my soul mate; the love of my life’

Open: Emma went onto discuss her character Maggie, who upon moving to London with Birdy, battles with insecurities after her best friend starts to fall in love with her first boyfriend

Open: Emma went onto discuss her character Maggie, who upon moving to London with Birdy, battles with insecurities after her best friend starts to fall in love with her first boyfriend

She said: ‘Maggie so wants to be liked and loved. I can relate to that. [I remember] being in my twenties and having so much life and personality around my friends, but making myself smaller, or duller, in romantic settings.’ 

Emma also detailed the show’s hilarious ‘Tinder montage’ scene, where Maggie and her housemate Amara (played by Aliyah Odoffin) romp their way through a clutch of one-night stands.

She said: ‘The beautiful thing about that scene is that the sex is joyous – and it’s on their terms… Why aren’t women allowed to go out and have a good time and not feel bad about it?’

Dark: This year is proving to be Emma's breakout as she is also starring in the Disney+ drama Pistol as Sid Vicious' tragic girlfriend Nancy Spungen

Dark: This year is proving to be Emma’s breakout as she is also starring in the Disney+ drama Pistol as Sid Vicious’ tragic girlfriend Nancy Spungen

In depth: 'I love her voice, her mannerisms, the ability she has to change herself into a different person. I studied videos of her religiously,' Emma said

In depth: ‘I love her voice, her mannerisms, the ability she has to change herself into a different person. I studied videos of her religiously,’ Emma said

RIP: Emma (pictured) plays Nancy in Danny Boyle's drama Pistol

Tragedy: Nancy who battled drug addiction, was famously found dead in a hotel room aged 20

RIP: Emma (left in Pistol) plays punk icon Nancy (right in 1978) who was found dead in a New York hotel room after years of battling drug addiction

Open: Meanwhile Bel admitted she was deeply moved by Dolly Alderton's focus on female friendship in her original memoir

Open: Meanwhile Bel admitted she was deeply moved by Dolly Alderton’s focus on female friendship in her original memoir

Everything I Know About Love is set in a 2012 London house-share with flashbacks to suburban adolescence in the early noughties, and focuses on four friends navigating their new life after moving to London. 

This year is proving to be Emma’s breakout as she is also starring in the Disney+ drama Pistol as Sid Vicious’ tragic girlfriend Nancy Spungen, with the series depicting the rise of iconic punk band The Sex Pistols.

Nancy, who battled drug addiction, was tragically found dead in her room, in NYC’s notorious Chelsea Hotel aged just 21, with boyfriend Sid later charged with her murder. He died of a heroin overdose before the case came to court.

Important: Bel added that filming felt 'free and collaborative'

Important: Bel added that filming felt ‘free and collaborative’

Progress: We've come to a point, post-#MeToo, where people are actually making shows about the female experience,' she added

Progress: We’ve come to a point, post-#MeToo, where people are actually making shows about the female experience,’ she added

Discussing taking on the role of Nancy, Emma said: ‘It was an iconic time in history and Nancy was an amazing part to play. I love her voice, her mannerisms, the ability she has to change herself into a different person. I studied videos of her religiously.’

Meanwhile Bel admitted she was deeply moved by Alderton’s focus on female friendship in her original memoir.

The actress explained she spent eight years living with her close friend before moving in with her now-fiancé Douglas Booth.

Back to work: Bel is now set to travel to Vancouver to shoot Cold Copy – about a journalism student who becomes obsessed with a famous journalist

Back to work: Bel is now set to travel to Vancouver to shoot Cold Copy – about a journalism student who becomes obsessed with a famous journalist

Views: Revealing she'll be joined by her husband-to-be Douglas on the trip, she said one of the benefits of dating a fellow actor is that you both understand the 'nomadic' nature of the job

Views: Revealing she’ll be joined by her husband-to-be Douglas on the trip, she said one of the benefits of dating a fellow actor is that you both understand the ‘nomadic’ nature of the job

She said: ‘I lived with my best friend Lola for eight years. When I moved in with Douglas [in 2019], I brought Lola with me. She eventually moved out, but we still call that room, ”Lola’s room”.’

Bel added that filming felt ‘free and collaborative.’

To read PORTER on iPhone, iPad and Android, visit or download the NET-A-PORTER app from the App Store and Google Play

To read PORTER on iPhone, iPad and Android, visit or download the NET-A-PORTER app from the App Store and Google Play

‘Both of our directors, [China Moo-Young and Julie Ford] are women, as is our showrunner, Dolly. We’ve come to a point, post-#MeToo, where people are actually making shows about the female experience,’ she added.

‘I don’t think this would have been made 10 years ago. There was Girls, and that’s it. Certainly, for me, in my career, I have never read a script so honest and raw about what it’s like to be a young woman.’

Bel is now set to travel to Vancouver to shoot Cold Copy – about a journalism student who becomes obsessed with a famous journalist, played by Tracee Ellis Ross. 

Revealing she’ll be joined by her husband-to-be Douglas on the trip, she said one of the  benefits of dating a fellow actor is that you both understand the ‘nomadic’ nature of the job and ‘align schedules, so that we go to places together’. 

To read PORTER on iPhone, iPad and Android, visit or download the NET-A-PORTER app from the App Store and Google Play. 

Everything I Know About Love will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer June 7. 

Coming soon: Everything I Know About Love will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer June 7

Coming soon: Everything I Know About Love will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer June 7

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