Published: 16:20 BST, 31 January 2017 | Updated: 17:52 BST, 31 January 2017
Actress Emma Rigby made her name as Hannah Ashworth in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks as a fresh-faced 15-year-old.
But the demands of spending her teen years in the public eye were tough for the St Helens-born star, 27, who exclusively told MailOnline: 'I found it really difficult growing up on Hollyoaks as a teen. The pressure is enormous.
'I don't have social media. I feel it has such a negative impact on your mental health.'
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In the public eye: Actress Emma Rigby, 27, told MailOnline she found it 'difficult growing up on Hollyoaks as a teen'
Emma left the soap in 2010 and went on to star in projects such as BBC One's Prisoners' Wives and British horror flick Demons Never Die, before relocating to the US.
Sensible and committed to her career, Emma insists she has no interest in living a hedonistic lifestyle which favours style over substance.
She said: 'As you grow up you become comfortable with yourself and you realise what really matters in life. Celebrity and parties... I don't have any interest in. I look at people I want to be like, like Dame Judy Walters and Dame Judi Dench.'
While the star said she would gladly return to Hollyoaks for a cameo performance if the soap would 'have her back', she's certainly not shy of work, with her latest project American Violence set for a February release stateside.
Success story: Emma left the soap in 2010 and went on to star in projects such as BBC One's Prisoners' Wives and British horror flick Demons Never Die, before relocating to the US
In the feature film, which also stars Bruce Dern and Denise Richards, Emma plays Texan Olivia Rose - a gangster's daughter who falls for Jack Shea (Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereau) - an inmate who becomes embroiled in a doomed plot put together by bent cop (Dern).
Emma explained: 'I'm not very sexy at all but the director (Timothy Woodward Jr.) wanted the character to be strong and sexy.
'I have only seen it once and I was like "oh my god, I feel so awkward." I'm just a big goof. I'm not at all sexy in any way. When you play a character you have to own it.'
She was full of praise for co-stars Denise and Bruce, gushing: 'For me, I was a huge fan of Bruce, a legend in the industry and to work with Denise was so delightful.
Screen star: Emma's latest project American Violence is set for a February release stateside
'She brought her girls to the set. She's a really lovely, quiet woman. It was a fantastic experience to make the film and work with an amazing cast.
'To be in the industry for so long like both have... it's about being ultra professional, passionate and a nice person to be around.'
The star recently returned to the UK to set up life in London, and was frank when asked about her views on newly-elected US President Donald Trump.
'I was a supporter of Trump and I wanted him to be elected,' admitted Emma. 'Since the ban on immigration, I've completely changed and I have strongly disagreed on that. My opinion completely changed. That's not demcaracy.
She described his election win as 'representing the voice of the people'.
'I thought that was a moment in history,' she said. 'In the past few days, I completely disagreed with that.'
Religion plays a big part in Emma's life, with the star recently reaffirming her Catholic faith.
'I'm very religious,' she explained. 'It's a huge, important part of my life but I don't want to impose that on anybody.'
The single beauty has no desire to start a relationship just yet, with her career her primary focus.
Spiritual: Religion plays a big part in Emma's life, with the star recently reaffirming her Catholic faith
She said: 'I find it difficult to maintain a relationship and focus on what I'm doing. I'm from St Helens, I've done it all myself. I don't know people, I'm not from the right family and necessarily the right background.'
She added that her dream role would be a part in the much anticipated Downton Abbey film adaptation.
Enthusiastically, she declared: I'm a huge fan of Downton. I hear they are making a film and I would love to work with Julian Fellowes.'
The star was recently made an ambassador for Catholic international development charity CAFOD, which she claimed was another reason for her decision to move back to England.
Ambition: Emma said that her dream role would be a part in the much anticipated Downton Abbey film adaptation