The year 2020 was very challenging for most of us and continues to change our lives in many ways. One thing that surprised everyone was the worldwide lockdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While many feel these measures were necessary to save lives, they also disrupted millions of lives and led to a substantial economic cost from which many businesses would never recover.
And while many people were positively miserable being locked inside for weeks or months, others found creative ways to express themselves via the internet, creating some of the funniest home videos we’ve ever seen. As for Dawn French, she described the lockdown as “frightening,” but also expressed gratitude for the company of family during those hard times.
“Lockdown was frightening,” she says. “It’s frightening to have an invisible enemy out there but I’m quite resilient and resourceful and to hunker down with my family was a kind of a treat.
“My two daughters came to live with me for three months and we cooked for each other and talked a lot and gave each other space and had robust debates about things.”
As a key worker, Mark had to work during the lockdown.
“When we get the chance to look back, what we’ll notice is all the little acts of kindness and the moments when people pulled together and supported each other,” she remarks.
“He came back with so many stories of that nature, so although it was difficult, it was rewarding in many ways.”
And during her 18-month schedule was derailed and her tour postponed, Dawn reflected on missing out on other things as well.
“I’ve missed cuddles with my mates and it proves to me how much that stuff matters,” French admits.
She also criticized the government’s handling of the pandemic as “shambolic.”
“But then a pandemic throws you into a crisis,” she continues. “Nobody’s experienced at this. It’s no secret that I’m a ‘leftie’ and would have preferred Keir Starmer to be guiding us through this.”
Despite the restrictions, Dawn went on to film a Sky One Christmas family drama called “Roald & Betrix,” in Wales. The story is about when Roald Dahl, age six, first met Beatrix Potter, age 60. French plays potter and co-stars alongside Rob Brydon, Bill Bailey, Jessica Hynes, and Alison Steadman.
“There was a ‘gulp’ moment of, can we manage it?” French says. “It was one of the first bits of filming that went back into production, you have a Covid person on your crew, you have medicals – I’ve had nine tests in four weeks. Everyone who’s not going to be wearing a mask has to be tested, everyone who is near you is tested. I’ve worked for five weeks with a crew I’ve only met from the eyes upwards.
“I sanitised my hands 20 times a day, we sat in our caravans away from each other, we ate lunch on our own, our costumes were sanitised and quarantined. But every single person on that job was so grateful and happy to be back at work.”
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- “‘Lockdown was frightening… but to hunker down with my family was a treat'” Belfast Telegraph.