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Julie Walters insists on comfortable corset


Julie Walters has revealed how she loosened up on the set of her upcoming period film Effie - by demanding a more comfortable corset.

The veteran actress plays the mother of John Ruskin in the film about the Victorian art critic's relationship with his young bride Effie Gray, which is due for release next year.

But after a breathless experience on the 2007 costume drama Becoming Jane, she decided that a cinched-in waist is not worth the pain.

"I played Jane Austen's mum and when we were having the dresses made they were fitting me and fitting the corset. I'd say, 'Yes that's fine, I can breathe. Ooh it gives me a waist, pull it in a bit more'," said Walters, who stars alongside US actress Dakota Fanning, and Greg Wise and Emma Thompson in Effie.

"Oh my God, did I regret it when we came to shooting. They're awful. You can't breathe properly. If you ever have to run anywhere you can't. You can't really eat and if you undo them at lunchtime, they have to do them up again.

"So when I came to do Effie I said, 'No that's fine, don't pull it in any more. I'm not having that again, I don't care what I look like'."

Walters, 62, who came to prominence working with comedienne Victoria Wood and found international fame in the 1983 film Educating Rita, is on the judging panel for the Virgin Media Shorts film competition.

She is lined up to star alongside James Corden in One Voice, based on the story of telephone salesman-turned-Britain's Got Talent winner Paul Potts.

"It looks like it; I haven't signed a contract yet," she said.

BGT and X Factor mogul Simon Cowell has been rumoured to make an appearance in the film and Walters joked that they would be turning the tables by passing comment on his abilities.

"We'll be judging his (performance)," she said.