Lesley Manville: Young actresses are under too much pressure

File photo dated 08/04/18 of Lesley Manville, who has praised the comedy series Mum for its ÒrefreshingÓ depiction of middl
File photo dated 08/04/18 of Lesley Manville, who has praised the comedy series Mum for its ÒrefreshingÓ depiction of middle-aged love.

Lesley Manville has said young actresses are under too much pressure these days.

The 63-year-old star, whose credits include High Hopes, Secrets & Lies and Phantom Thread, is starring in TV series Mum.

She told Radio Times magazine: “I don’t think I would have wanted the kind of success I have now when I was in my 20s and 30s.

Lesley Manville
Lesley Manville (Ian West/PA)

“Then, I was doing masses of stuff at the Royal Court Theatre … or else I was making films with Mike Leigh, which I absolutely adored.

“When I compare those decades of my life with actresses of equal talent and stature who are in their 20s now, they seem so pressurised – they’re all pushed to go to America and have their career via Instagram.

“I want to say to them ‘Look, don’t worry about the fame thing. Just do the work for the sake of doing the work, and take what you can from that.’”

But Manville added that film and television bosses are now “realising there’s a huge …  market out there” for stories about older women.

“We want to see stories that deal with women like (Mum alter-ego) Cathy, we want to see Meryl Streep leaping about in Mamma Mia!, or Glenn Close playing the title role in The Wife.

“There’s nothing wrong with a bit of escapism – I love a bit of commercial candyfloss when I’m in the mood – but women my age want to see film and TV where we’re represented.”

The full interview is in this week’s Radio Times.

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