Julie Walters doesn’t like to be called a national treasure which isn’t so surprising. Who would want to be a such a thing? You must feel there is so much to live up to. But she is one, nevertheless, and we are very lucky to have her. She is funny, smart, a truly gifted actress and, despite being in the limelight so frequently, honest, unassuming and unafraid to be herself.

We need more women in the public eye like Julie and not just because she is so versatile an actress, utterly convincing in serious roles and hilarious in comic ones. We need women like her because she is unfazed by growing older. In fact, she positively embraces it, talking of her excitement when she first got her bus pass and went sightseeing in London.

She has said that we should all embrace getting older and that, ironically, if we do it will knock years of us. No chance of Julie Walters having Botox or a face lift! She is a great promoter of looking and being natural and has chic undyed hair to prove it. The French have an expression for people like Julie. They are comfortable in their skin. And Julie Walters does seem to be exactly that.

She doesn’t seem to feel the need to look and dress younger than she really is. This doesn’t mean she wears baggy, unflattering clothes either. She is always elegantly dressed when in the public eye but you sense that she is perhaps more at home in jeans and wellies when she is on the organic farm her husband manages in Sussex.

One of her most famous recent roles was in the film Mamma Mia, when she was the kind of friend to Meryl Streep’s character you would love to have in real life. It was easy to imagine that the woman she played wasn’t so far removed from her real self. She was just as good as Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter films, again playing a loving and loveable part. Of course, she is a great actress but you just know she is as decent away from the camera as she is in front of it, don’t you?

She’ll be 64 in February and although she has said that she would like to work less, there still seems to be plenty of roles for her, thank goodness.

Julie Walters, flying the flag for older women everywhere!

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