Anne-Marie on dealing with emotions and Turning Red – and other things to watch this week

Welcome to our guide to what’s new and worth watching in the world of TV and film.

Featuring our biggest celebrity interviews of the week, our Backstage entertainment review also includes details of the other new and noteworthy works coming to your screens.

Turning Red – available now on Disney Plus

This is the story of 13-year-old Meilin “Mei” Lee, who like most teenagers relies on her friends as she navigates the issues faced during her formative years – but unlike most teenagers, explodes into a giant red panda whenever her emotions get too high.

Starring Sandra Oh and Rosalie Chiang, it’s a clever take on the emotional rollercoaster that many girls find themselves on as they navigate their teenage years.

British pop star Anne-Marie, who has a cameo in the film, is one celebrity who certainly doesn’t shy away from being open about her own struggles.

In her 2020 documentary How To Be Anne Marie she revealed the difficulties she came up against in school and how her life was impacted. She also confirmed she was going to try therapy, and has told Sky News not only is she doing so but also credits her friends with helping her through the toughest times.

“I guess you don’t really realise how important friends are – or can be – in certain situations,” she said. “As adults we still don’t really let out what we’re supposed to let out… I have a therapist, but it doesn’t mean that your friends can’t be that as well.

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“They’re so important and I definitely wouldn’t have been able to get through some stuff without my friends.”

Anne-Marie says the challenge – and subsequent benefits – of being able to manage your emotions is something she can relate to.

“It’s definitely a good thing to learn,” she said. “I’ve never really been able to control it, like all my life, I’ve been very, very extreme; I’m very hyper, very happy, very sad, very angry – I’m all the extremes. And it wasn’t until I started therapy where I actually started realising that being in the middle is a really good place to be.

“It’s all about really learning what you’re able to just continue coping with I think, because my extreme emotions were quite hard to deal with – the panda was with me a lot.”

The 30-year-old says she was originally drawn to taking the part because of the message of the film. “I try and do that with my music – I always really try and put a message in there that people may not have heard in a pop song before or just something that makes people feel something,” she said.

“I want to be involved because it’s important to have these kind of movies, especially for young people – I wish I had this kind of movie when I was younger.”

Outlander – available now on Starzplay

Caitriona Balfe is in the running for a BAFTA for her role in Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast – but it’s not just awards ceremonies that put her centre screen at the moment.

Historical drama Outlander, in which she plays time-traveller Claire – whose love story with a Highland warrior played by Sam Heughan is central to the plot – is also back.

It’s the sixth series of the hit show, which has a loyal and dedicated fanbase; the time between series is labelled as “droughtlander”, and they have been kept waiting longer than usual this time due to the pandemic.

That fandom, while welcome, can be intense at times. Balfe told Sky News she doesn’t let any negativity get to her, but admitted trying to protect younger members of the cast. “Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of [fan interaction] is really just this lovely wave of people being so supportive and telling you how much they like you. Which is, you know, lovely, right? Who could fault that?

“But like anything, there’s a small sliver that is kind of criticising or maybe a little intrusive, and of course as human beings it’s hard not to sort of catch on to that. I think it’s one thing when you’re as old in the tooth as Sam and I maybe are, but I think when you are talking about young actors who are coming on to a show and who sort of just step into this wave of all of that, it can be quite overwhelming.”

Read more: Caitriona Balfe on Belfast success, Outlander’s return, and being a ‘mother hen’ on set

BAFTA Awards – BBC One from 7pm on Sunday

A chance to celebrate some of the films that have provided some often much-needed escapism in difficult times, this year’s BAFTAs ceremony takes place today.

Lady Gaga is among the stars expected at the Royal Albert Hall in London for Sunday’s event – does that mean she fancies her chances for best actress for her role in House Of Gucci?

Other stars in the running for awards include Leonardo DiCaprio (Don’t Look Up), Benedict Cumberbatch (Power Of The Dog) and Will Smith (King Richard).

Read more: BAFTAs preview – powerful themes as well as blockbusters in the mix for awards

And finally…

You can listen to our interviews and hear our reviews in this week’s Backstage podcast. As well as Turning Red – with Anne-Marie’s interview plus a chat with star Sandra Oh – Outlander and the BAFTAs, our Backstagers are also discussing The Adam Project (Netflix) and Upload (Amazon Prime), both out now, and Holding (ITV from 14 March).

Let us know what you’ve been watching via backstage@sky.uk

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