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Olivia Cooke Had a 'Full Mental Breakdown' Filming Bates Motel

The House of the Dragon star opened up about her "awful" mental health experience.
  • Olivia Cooke in Bates Motel. (Photo: A&E/Courtesy Everett Collection)
    Olivia Cooke in Bates Motel. (Photo: A&E/Courtesy Everett Collection)

    Before she played Queen Alicent in House of the Dragon, Olivia Cooke struggled with her mental health on the set of Bates Motel

    The British actress revealed in an interview that concurrent filming schedules for the Psycho prequel series and films Ready Player One and Thoroughbreds in Vancouver led to a "full mental breakdown". The isolation and homesickness while working on these projects combined to create a heavy depression for the actress, she admitted. "It was a big old lovely cocktail: being homesick and not knowing it, having not stopped since I was 18, being on my own for large swathes of time."

    "I’m so grateful for that job, but I had a really tough time on it," said Cooke. "The way the schedule worked, we all had different storylines, so a lot of my time was spent in this apartment in Vancouver, working once every two weeks."

    Cooke's response to her feelings was to take on more work, and as a result of her hectic schedule and mental health issues, she spiraled. "It was bad, bad. Awful, actually," she recalled. "...I was working all the way through. I was very good at hiding it."

    While it took some time, the House of the Dragon star shared that in 2019, her "incessant, persistent, anxious thoughts" began to subside, aided by a "healing" move back to London.

    House of the Dragon airs Sundays at 9:00 PM ET on HBO and HBO Max.

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    Jade Budowski is a freelance writer with a knack for ruining punchlines and harboring dad-aged celebrity crushes. She was previously a reporter/producer at Decider and is a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow her on Twitter: @jadebudowski.

    TOPICS: Olivia Cooke, Bates Motel, House of the Dragon