Spotlight: 6 Things You Need to Know About Julie Walters
Julie Walters has danced on tables with Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!, battled Death Eaters in Harry Potter, and bared all alongside Helen Mirren in Calendar Girls. Now, find out all about Julie Walters as the beloved British star returns to MASTERPIECE in Indian Summers as Cynthia Coffin, Machiavellian doyenne of the Simla Club!
1. Julie Walters, like Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey), Judi Dench (Cranford), and Helen Mirren (Prime Suspect), is heralded as a British national treasure. But unlike these MASTERPIECE alumnae, she hasn't yet been named a "Dame"—despite a decade-long fan campaign that reached all the way to Parliament! Why? The actress, with her working-class roots, jokingly posits that she's "not posh enough."
2. For her breakout role in Educating Rita (1983), Walters won her first of many BAFTA awards and was nominated for an Oscar. But she recently revealed that the film's producers had originally sought a Dolly Parton/Paul Newman pairing! Only after Michael Caine came onboard did they pursue Walters, who'd played the titular character on the London stage.
3. Walters has won top awards across the genres, in tragedies, comedies, and musicals. But add "author" to her CV: She's written That's Another Story (an autobiography), Maggie's Tree (a novel), and Baby Talk (a memoir). And…she's also a farmer! She and her husband own an organic farm in West Sussex, England.
4.According toDownton Abbey's Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore), Julie Walters beat her out for the part of Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter films. The casting certainly worked out for the best; Walters was a magical Mrs. Weasley, and just imagine what a loss it would have been for Downton had Nicol been tied up battling Death Eaters instead of making food for Downton's eaters as Mrs. Patmore!
5. In another Downton Abbey connection, Julie Walters recently reunited with the Earl of Grantham himself, Hugh Bonneville, on the big screen in Paddington. Their earlier collaboration was the acclaimed 2008 MASTERPIECE Filth.
6. According to Indian Summers costar Henry Lloyd Hughes (Ralph Whelan), Walters never wants to wear her character's shoes. He says, "The first thing she will ask in any scene is 'can you see my feet?' And you know what? Who [would] begrudge a true legend of the stage and screen the right to wear comfortable shoes when they can't be seen in the shot? I have to wear the hot and sweaty suits, that's my cross to bear, but I do not envy the ladies who have to wear period heels."