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For eight years we’ve known her as the make-up-free Sister Julienne in Call the Midwife, so it’s a treat to see Jenny Agutter all glammed up.
While she makes dressing up in sequins and cashmere look effortlessly easy for the camera, Jenny, 66, reveals she feels more herself in casual gear. It’s great catching a glimpse of this laid-back Jenny – after all, she’s been busy entertaining the nation since she was 17, when she became a household name after starring in The Railway Children. Many high-profile roles and awards later, you may expect her global fame to have gone to her head, but catching up with Jenny is like chatting to someone we’ve known all our lives.
On-screen roles for older actresses are increasing and it’s getting better all the time.
There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, there are more female writers who ensure that women’s positions in society are reflected in their scripts. This is something that doesn’t stop in your twenties, they include strong female lead characters all the way through. And secondly, today’s media is now very ‘tuned in’ to the way drama looks at how women are portrayed and promotes our involvement – about time!
There’s plenty of room on-screen for the Botox faces, the teenager, the middle-aged, the businesswoman and the more mature lady.
The roles I go for now aren’t just because of my maturity. The producers want me to look as mature as I do, rather than the ‘not quite sure what age I am’ because I froze my face in my forties.
There is a risk of there being a new generation of actresses who won’t look the part when they’re older.
This is because they’re having cosmetic procedures and making a change they can’t go back on. However, if someone told me you could have a muscle-rejuvenating drug I might go for it – but surgery is a major thing. If everyone was less fixated by looking younger, people would be allowed to look their age. If you’ve earned some lines on your face, you should show them!
Call the Midwife returns with a Christmas Special in December, and the ninth series will be screened in January 2020
Read our full interview with Jenny in the January issue of woman&home, out 5 December