Top Brit actress tells her peers: Ditch the surgery and look your age

Lesley Manville has said a firm 'no' to surgery as an actress. Source: Getty.

She’s known to play dramatically different roles on TV, in movies and on stage, and Oscar-nominated actress Lesley Manville says her “best asset” is her natural, surgery-free face.

Now, she has urged other movie stars to follow her lead and ditch the Botox and enhancements for good.

The 62-year-old star, who recently appeared alongside Daniel Day-Lewis on 1950s-inspired film Phantom Thread, said that while she understood many women chose to go under the knife due to “insecurities”, she can’t understand why actors and actresses would want to freeze their face and possibly impact their ability to perform.

Speaking in an exclusive chat with Starts at 60, the British film star said: “Personally, I’m against surgery. I’m an actress, I want my face to move, I need my face to tell the story, it’s my biggest asset. It’s all you have. If it’s not moving because it’s been Botoxed and pushed and peeled and pulled and God knows what, with that waxy look to it, then it’s not good.”

She admitted she felt sorry for the stars who do chose to surgically alter themselves, as they were “obviously very insecure and feel that that’s what they need to do to make themselves feel good enough to go in front of the camera”.

Now, Lesley is urging more women to ditch the surgery and embrace their natural looks, saying ageing is a completely normal, human process, and one that should be celebrated – not feared.

Read more: Melissa Gilbert says she’s dumped cosmetic surgery to age gracefully

“I mean none of us want to get old, none of us particularly want to lose that youthful glow that we had when we were 20 and 30, but that is what getting older is all about,” she said.

But she said she wished there was a “greater movement of women who just said ‘enough, we’re not doing that anymore’,” but admitted that it seemed unlikely to happen.

She plays serious and worried Cyril, the sister of dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock, in Phantom Thread, which is a long way from her previous roles, having been in gritty TV drama Mum, as well as children’s movie Maleficent and relationships family drama movie Another Year.

She reckoned that having an expensively cosmetically-altered face would make it difficult to play realistic characters, because most people don’t in real life have the extreme treatments that many actresses do.

Read more: Actress Lesley Manville: ‘I’m so glad the days of girdles are over’

“I just don’t understand why an actor would do it, the greatest tool you’ve got is your face. Why not have it looking like your age?”

Despite the fact that many people in the entertainment industry still felt compelled to look younger, Lesley did celebrate the shift in the film industry to give more of the top roles to over-50s actresses.

“Films are being made where they are putting women over 50 at the front, and showing them not just being mothers or grandmothers, but being businesswomen, women in relationships, women who have romantic lives, women who are not having to suppress their sexuality because they’re over 50, they’re still celebrating themselves,” she said. “And that’s crucial.”

Phantom Thread is released on DVD on May 5.

Do you agree with Lesley that film stars should steer clear of plastic surgery and embrace natural ageing?

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