Anna Friel left 'vomiting and poisoned by stress' while shooting Marcella's third series

MARCELLA's third season took a serious toll on leading lady Anna Friel.

The ITV thriller will return later this month with more gripping scenes, but the darker aspects of the show wreaked havoc with Friel's mental health.

While discussing the upcoming episodes with The Sun and other press, Anna Friel admitted she had been "poisoned by the stress" of her on-screen alter ego.

"I tend to let it affect me once it’s a wrap on the whole season because otherwise it can get overwhelming," she explained.

She even found herself vomiting between takes – a reaction to the heightened emotional state of her character.

"Sometimes I’ve got myself to such a state that I’ve kind of rushed into the trailer and thrown up because the cortisol levels have gone to such a high status and the body is being poisoned by the stress," she went on.

"But you do relive it, because I give everything to her – I become her to a certain extent."

The comments echo those made by Nicole Kidman, who claimed she was left "physically sick" after shooting Sky thriller The Undoing.

Marcella will be undergoing quite the transformation in series 3 after faking her death in the series 2 finale.

She takes on the identity of blonde bomshell Keira – a look that Anna admitted she fell in love with.

She said: “My favourite thing was being blonde, because it just gave her a whole different feel and swagger. I wouldn’t say Marcella is an incredibly sexual person and she doesn’t sexualise herself — but Keira does.

“Keira uses her wiliness and her body. I don’t think Marcella has ever been prepared to do that before. So she explores her sexuality, I think.”

Key to that was swapping Marcella’s drab clothes for outfits that showed off Keira’s cleavage and legs.

Speaking at the press conference, Anna noted: “The costumes from series one or two had to change.

"In the first two seasons we were talking about a woman who had just been left by her husband, who didn’t feel particularly attractive.

“She wasn’t about to walk into an office having very tight things showing off any cleavage or shape, in a fashion that perhaps men would like.

“But being Keira she realises that’s a necessity and starts to enjoy a ­little bit more being in her own body and using that to her own advantage.

"She sees what a powerful tool that can be.”

Marcella's third series will hit ITV later this month.

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