26/11/2011 11:49 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Anna Friel Says Daughter Gracie Puts A Smile On Her Face Every Day

Anna Friel PA

Anna Friel has said her daughter Gracie helped her get through the intensity of her latest acting role.

Anna has been filming gritty scenes for the ITV three-part thriller 'Without You' which tells the story of Ellie Manning, a woman desperate to have a child but whose husband dies in a car crash, leaving her to face the possibility he may have been being unfaithful to her.

As she shot her final scenes, Anna revealed to the Daily Mail that it was the thought of her own daughter at home that kept her going.

"On the way home from filming I would wind down the car window, look at the sky, feel the wind in my face and thank God I wasn't Ellie Manning - a woman desperate to have a child before the untimely death of her husband.

"Gracie put the smile back on my face. At the end of each day's filming, she made me snap out of my unhappiness.

"I couldn't go home to Windsor and to Gracie and be sad. It doesn't matter how hard your day has been, you have to be happy for your child.

"She would greet me with the words 'Are you sure you're happy, Mummy?' when I came through the door. Fortunately, by then I was well on the road to being so. Playing Ellie Manning was tough, but it made me appreciate how lucky I was, and made me appreciate my joy at being a mum. It made me grateful for my life."

Anna is with fellow actor Rhys Ifans. Anna said that he whisked her and Gracie off on a 'beaten track' holiday in Wales after her latest project ended:

"He greeted me with the words: 'I know this has been a hard job for you so let's go and do something that's fun.'"

'Without You' is an adaptation of the Nicci French novel 'What To Do When Someone Dies'.

Does the thought of returning home to your kids get you through the day at work?
Or does the ensuing chaos mean you'd rather still be toiling away?!