Home' Get Up and Go : Summer 2015 Contents And she's added another to the list
as Mrs Bird in an adaptation of
Paddington. The movie sees our
Peruvian hero travel to London where
he's taken in by The Browns, played by
Sally Hawkins and Hugh Bonneville
and their kindly housekeeper (Walters).
Unfortunately, the new arrival rouses
the interest of a vicious tartxidermist,
a brilliantly tongue-in-cheek turn by
Julie Walters talks candidly to Get
Up & Go about her new role and her
thoughts on retirement.
You've had so many wonderful
roles, is it now hard for you to find
something that you're going to be
WALTERS: Yeah, it is hard when you
get to my age. Stuff comes in and I
think, "Yes, I think I'd like to watch this
but you know, I can't be bothered."
So what appealed about Paddington
WALTERS: I love the thought of kids
enjoying it and that it means so much
to so many people. He's an iconic
bear. And I like working with young
directors like Paul King. I like their
young vision and appetite.
How do you explain Paddington to a
young, fresh audience?
WALTERS: Well it's about an innocent
young bear and he represents a person
being different and not fitting in. And
it's about him creating chaos and
almost causing a family to split up. He
causes people to question who they
are and how they relate to each other.
It delivers a wonderful message. It's
about someone coming from another
culture and having to fit in.
Tell me about some of your next
projects -- what is the eta on your film
Brooklyn, have you wrapped?
WALTERS: We've wrapped and wow,
wow, wow, Saoirse Ronan, I worked
with her on this and she is amazing.
Wonderful cast like Jim Broadbent, or
Broadbean as I like to call him, and
young Domhnall Gleeson. My agents
have seen it and they say it's fantastic.
And what of Indian Summers?
WALTERS: Well I've just come back
and I'm completely jetlagged, you're
very lucky I'm making any sense at
all today. It was filmed in Penang and
it was such a rich experience. They
couldn't shoot it in India but shot the
film in Penang, Malaysia on Penang
Hill station, covered in jungle and there
was a wonderful designer who did it up.
It's massive, you could see through the
windows and the jungles...wonderful.
And your character is quite formidable.
WALTERS: Formidable and a
complete manipulator and beyond.
But great and what I discovered was
that everyone out there during the Raj
was supposed to be very posh but they
weren't. And my character is an East
End girl who runs the social club.
What's the dream role?
WALTERS: I'd love to do a Bond
villain. I'd really ham it up and give
an outrageous performance. Maybe
someone like Rosa Klebb, with the knife
in her shoe. For God's sake, they should
bring her back, she was marvellous.
They haven't written the script yet so
I've still got time. It's my dream role and
I'll just keep praying it happens.
I read that you considered retiring at
WALTERS: I didn't care about 50. But
60 felt like -- ughhh and I'd let my
hair grow through and suddenly all
this white hair appeared. The shape of
my head looked like all my mother's
male relatives. I didn't do anything for
a year or so and I really did think "I
don't need to work anymore". Then I
realised, OK it's still there but it's only
for specific things. And to be fair, I
don't know many actors that retire. So
I like the challenge, and want to keep
on being challenged.
When you look back over your career,
what's the role that you take the most
WALTERS: Mo. (Marjorie 'Mo'
Mowlam was a British Labour Party
politician, Member of Parliament for
Redcar from 1987 to 2001 and served
in the Cabinet as Secretary of State
for Northern Ireland, Minister for
the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of
the Duchy of Lancaster.) Because it
was such a challenge, that I was so
scared, that I liked her very much,
that people remembered her. She was
nothing like me physically. I thought
no one is going to believe this. I rang
my agent Paul and I said, "can you get
me out of this?" And he replies, "With
respect, bollocks, get the wig on and
the glasses and you'll be fine." •
What's the dream role?
WALTERS: I'd love to do
a Bond villain...
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