Brenda Blethyn: "I don't feel 75!"

The Editors
·2-min read
Photo credit: Trevor Leighton
Photo credit: Trevor Leighton

From Good Housekeeping

Brenda Blethyn is truly one of our best-loved national treasures. It's for her warmth, charm and especially in her role as the spiky DCI Vera Stanhope in Vera, which returns for a record breaking 11th series later this year.

In an exclusive interview in the May issue of Good Housekeeping, Brenda opens up about feeling youthful, her work ethic, and how absence has really made the heart grow fonder with her husband Michael. The pair have been apart due to lockdown restrictions.

Photo credit: Trevor Leighton
Photo credit: Trevor Leighton

"It’s been lovely... so he says!" she explains in the interview. "No, we get on fine. When I’m up in Newcastle filming Vera, I don’t see him for months on end. We talk a couple of times a day, it might just be: ‘Hello, how are you doing?’ but we make sure it always happens and it just works. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder – well, it’s true! Being apart seems to keep us together.”

She turned 75 in February this year and says she doesn't feel her age at all. "If I’m completely honest, I don’t feel the slightest bit different!" she laughs. "You’re only as old as you feel, and I certainly don’t feel 75. That’s just a number, isn’t it?"

Brenda, who found acting fame later in life, admits that she's not likely to retire. "My parents worked until their dying days, and I fully expect to be doing the same," she says. "Mum had about six jobs to put food on the table and Dad spent the latter part of his life working in a ladies’ dress shop as a handyman.

"They instilled that work ethic in me; if you want to earn some money, you’ve got to work for it. I enjoy being busy, too, so I’ll always find something to do, even if it’s painting a wall!"

Photo credit: Trevor Leighton
Photo credit: Trevor Leighton

Discussing the subject of older actors on screen and whether the landscape is changing, she explains, "I do think it’s becoming more inclusive, but not before time. When I starred in the film Saving Grace, about a middle-aged widow, it took five years to get it off the ground.

"I’m trying to get Galina Petrovna’s Three-Legged Dog Story, a wonderful book about a group of septuagenarians, turned into a TV series at the moment. I hope that will be a little easier."

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

Read the full interview with Brenda Blethyn in the May issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale now.

It's available in all supermarkets and online at MagsDirect

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