Entertainment & Arts

Julie Walters 'a Hollywood freak' for not having plastic surgery

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Media captionJulie Walters says she will not have cosmetic work done, preferring to "look real"

Julie Walters has said she feels like a "freak" in modern-day Hollywood as one of the few middle-aged actresses not to have had any plastic surgery.

The British film star told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme that studios were not "very good" at giving roles to older women.

But Walters said she would not have cosmetic work done, adding: "I look real. It's good."

The Labour supporter also described PM Theresa May as "a good woman".

And she said she sometimes felt that her comedy partner and close friend Victoria Wood, who died earlier this year, was "still with us".

Walters, 66, who has starred in films such as Educating Rita, Billy Elliot, Harry Potter, Mamma Mia! and Calendar Girls, will appear next week in a Channel 4 drama National Treasure, which focuses on the relationship between a woman and her husband, a famous comedian who is accused of child sex offences.

Asked about the attitude of Hollywood studios to older actresses, she said: "I don't think they're very good with roles for women, are they?"

'Unusual'

"There are exceptions. Meryl Streep is an exception, isn't she?" said Walters, who was born in Birmingham and began her working life as a nurse. "And Julianne Moore, people like that. I mean, she's not that old, Julianne, but she's 50-odd.

"And I've just worked with wonderful Annette Bening. Annette Bening doesn't look like she's had anything done to her face and that's unusual in Hollywood. I know if I go out there now I'd look like a freak, because everybody has."

Image caption Victoria Wood and Julie Walters appeared together in many TV comedy shows

Pulling up the skin behind her jaw to mimic having a facelift, Walters said: "I don't want to do that."

A study published in 2014 suggested that male Hollywood stars' average pay increased until the age of 51. For women it peaked at the age of 34. There have also been reports that male stars out-earn their female co-stars at all ages.

"I suppose they do a lot of those big blockbuster things," said Walters, "violent things that must bring in money all round the world, I suppose - whereas the women tend to do more interesting things that don't bring in so much money."

Victoria Wood, who wrote and then starred with Walters in shows such as Victoria Wood: As Seen On TV and Dinnerladies, died in April, aged 62.

Walters said: "It was really strange. I couldn't kind of respond to it at the beginning, even though we all knew it was probably close...

"I found I couldn't respond for some time. I was hugely anxious first of all." Walters said she had eventually allowed herself to grieve in private and it sometimes felt like Wood was still "with us".

'Not sure'

Walters, a longstanding Labour supporter, called party leader Jeremy Corbyn "a great bloke".

"I think he's fantastic," she added, "and his speech when he launched his campaign was fantastic. But I can't see him as a leader. He was sort of absent at Brexit. I wasn't aware of him, really, making any speeches."

Asked about Corbyn's opponent in the current Labour leadership contest, Owen Smith, she said: "I'm just not sure about him."

She expressed concern over Labour's future, saying: "I feel sad, really. I feel there could be a split, which is really scary."

Walters described Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May as "better than what they could have had - better than [Michael] Gove and better certainly than Boris [Johnson]." She added that May was "better than the women too, the other women" the party might otherwise have chosen.

She was critical of the government's plan to increase the number of grammar schools in England, but added: "What I feel about Theresa May, though, is that she's a good woman. I do feel that.

"I think that it comes from a good heart, that she does genuinely think she's going to give working-class kids a chance, but I don't think it will result in that."

The Victoria Derbyshire programme is broadcast on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News channel.


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