Unbelievable star Kaitlyn Dever opens up about mother’s cancer battle

Kaitlyn Dever has spoken about the effect her mother's experience of breast cancer has had on her life and acting career.

The 23-year-old has been nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award due to her performances in Netflix miniseries Unbelievable.

Speaking to ES magazine, Kaitlyn has said that she has felt a "deep responsibility" to stay strong for her younger sister after their mother was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer about a decade ago and continues to seek treatment.

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Kaitlyn, originally from Phoenix, Arizona, said: "It definitely brought us closer. It was very scary. My baby sister was only six when our mom first got diagnosed.

"As the older sister, I felt a deep responsibility to not get upset, so I was always suppressing it and I think it really did affect the way I dealt with emotions then, and how I deal with them now.

"But it's also helped my acting too because I guess I'm able to have perspective on what matters and let go a bit easier."

Kaitlyn has earned plaudits for her portrayal of a victim of sexual assault in Unbelievable, which is about a series of rapes in Washington and Colorado.

The Booksmart star said the real-life role of Marie Adler had been the "hardest thing" she had ever done.

"I put so much pressure on myself to get it right," she said.

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"It's a rarity to be given a role – for people to trust you with a role – that is based on truth, and no part of me ever wanted to take that for granted.

"I wanted to give it everything that I had. I had to forget about my feelings; the story seemed so much bigger than me.

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"I'd keep myself in check by reminding myself that the headache I had from crying all day (during filming) was nothing in comparison to what she had gone through, so I could deal with this for the three or four months we were shooting.

"It was definitely the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but it felt so worth it."

*Read the full interview in ES Magazine.

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