She’s incredibly independent, well-read and well-travelled. She’s also the most honest and open person that I know and I hope those are qualities that I’ve inherited from her.
I certainly try to bring them to every role that I play.’The relationship is deepened by the fact that Caroline was a single mother for the first few years of Charity’s life.
Charity Wakefield is early for our morning interview at London’s trendy Shoreditch House – a media and showbiz club that boasts a roster of famous members, the actress herself included.
She’s making the most of it, ensconced in a squishy leather chair in the lounge – a pot of tea to the right of her, a freshly made lemonade to the left.
From an early age, Mary was treated like a sex object – the king of France even called her his Hackney Horse, for heaven’s sake!
‘Yet, in the end, in those times, when your life could be ended on a whim, she kept her head – quite literally – which is more than poor Anne did.
It’s our way of making sure we stay in touch, because otherwise it’s amazing how much time can go by without you seeing your friends, and mine are so important to me.’She is extremely close to her younger half-sister Olivia – a flight attendant– and her mother Caroline.
‘My mum called me Charity because the name came to her in a dream when she was pregnant with me,’ she laughs.
No wonder director Peter Kosminsky thought to cast her as Mary, ‘the other Boleyn girl’, alongside Claire Foy, who’s playing her younger sister, the doomed Anne in the aforementioned drama – BBC Two’s six-part adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up The Bodies.
That and a hairdo that took an hour and a half in make-up every day, and included scores of tiny plaits and a weft of hair that extended to my hip, was a bit of a struggle.
Charity loved working, too, with what felt like an old-fashioned travelling troupe of actors.
But that shared experience really helped to bond us.
The connection was instant.’It’s obvious that Charity is a woman’s woman and she has a close-knit group of female friends, many of whom live close to her in Peckham, Southeast London.