Jo Hartley's résumé is basically a guide to great British TV.
Shane Meadows' This Is England, Ricky Gervais's After Life, and award-winning comedy In My Skin should all be on your watch list.
Yet her ambitions are far from satisfied. They range from learning the piano – now's the moment! – to achieving spiritual enlightenment – now may or may not be the moment.
Enlightenment or not, Hartley certainly seems to be enjoying a productive lockdown. Reading her tips, it's not hard to see why.
Be busy, be positive, and connect with otherwise. To quote her friend Harry: "Worry’s like a rocking chair, it keeps you going but it gets you nowhere."
Go for a jog instead – but first, read the full interview below...
What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about?
A new TV show, ’In My Skin’ which I’m currently staring in alongside Gabrielle Creevy, written and created by the wonderful Kayleigh Llewellyn. The full series is available to download on BBC Three I Player.
Next is Ricky Gervais’s eagerly awaited ‘After Life’ Season 2, out 24 April on Netflix, and later on in the year, I have a movie called ‘Sweetheart’ coming out, written and directed by the ‘Mighty’ Marley Morrison.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
‘This Is England’ and all of the work I’ve done with director, Shane Meadows.
Being cast in Dexter Fletcher’s, ‘Eddie the Eagle’ with Hugh Jackman and Christopher Walken, that was exciting and of course working alongside Ricky Gervais, firstly in ‘Life On The Road’ then in his Netflix series, ’After Life’.
Meeting and working with him has been life changing and most recently playing the character Katrina Gwyndaf in the BBC Drama, ‘In My Skin’.
If you could change one thing about your career, what would it be?
I honestly don’t think I’d change a thing. But, If I had to choose one, I’d have maybe studied film and theatre at the Actors Studio, in New York City. I’ve always been in awe of the place, some of my favourite actors studied there.
What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?
Gosh, there are many things. Spiritual enlightenment, haha, or the ultimate level of physical, mental and spiritual well being one could possibly achieve in a lifetime.
I’ve always wanted to play the piano, write, produce and act in my own show. Visit the Amazon rainforest. Star in a romantic comedy shot in NYC at Christmas; play the voice of a ‘character’ in an animation movie.
I’d love to work with directors; Martin Scorsese and Terrence Malick.
Outside of your family, who is / was your biggest inspiration?
Florence Scovel Shinn. She was an American Artist and Book Illustrator, who became a new thought spiritual teacher and metaphysical writer in her middle years. She was born in 1871.
Also Judy Garland, she’s a huge inspiration to me and one of the reasons I become an actor.
Tell us something nobody knows about you…
I despise washing cutlery.
How are you finding lockdown?
I’m doing good thanks, keeping it in the day, trying not to overthink and worry, my friend Harry says, ‘Worry’s like a rocking chair, it keeps you going but it gets you nowhere’.
I’m actually really enjoying the peace and quiet. It’s giving me time to reflect, I’m strictly following the guidelines and still managing to keep busy. Lots of interviews for ‘In My Skin’ and 'After Life’ plus, I’m writing, it’s been a productive time for me.
Exercising as much as possible indoors, I seem to be calling people I wouldn’t normally connect with, trying to reach out to others.
Best thing about lockdown?
A renewed sense of community is emerging, seeing all the love and support for the NHS.
Slowing down, having no time restraints, catching up with great shows I’ve missed on TV, and movies I love, speaking with family more.
Social/physical distancing, London can be quite claustrophobic at times. I love the space and stillness right now.
Worst thing about lockdown?
Not seeing my family or friends at all, the inability to access fresh food frequently or go out for a walk when I like.
Being unable to spontaneously travel like I usually do, but mainly my powerlessness over the sickness being caused by the Virus, my inability to help more, because I cant leave the house.
Top tip for surviving lockdown?
I try not to take myself too seriously, I don’t watch any news, practice patience and tolerance.
Follow a daily routine: wake up, make coffee, read, meditate, listen to something nourishing; Oprah or Eckhart Tolle is always calming.
I exercise, I’m trying to limit the amount of time I spend on my computer, social media platforms and my phone, but that’s difficult because they’re my only means of communicate with the world. I cook and dance, sometimes at the same time.
I’ve also been watching Ricky Gervais’s ‘LIVE’ daily streams, they’re brilliant, he’s keeping up morale, lovely.
If you could be locked down with one person, alive or dead, who would it be?
My late father, Richard; If I could, I would sit and talk to him about all the things we never got to chat about, when he was alive. I have many questions for him. He passed away when I was 17 years old and I've missed him every day since.
What are you most looking forward to doing once lockdown is over?
Seeing my beautiful mum, Hetty, and my wonderful family and friends, then selfishly heading off into the sunset.
I've really missed work too, yes I know, who admits that!
The full series of In My Skin is available on BBC iPlayer now and After Life is on Netflix from 24 April