'I don't see the point of having those big inflated lips': Under the microscope with Brenda Blethyn
00:53 GMT, 24 July 2012
The actress, 66, on why she's a happy person, her ability to fall asleep anywhere and how brisk walking helps her keep in shape
'I'm only 5ft 2in and I could be lighter,' said Brenda Blethyn
ANY FAMILY AILMENTS
My mum died in 1992 of a heart attack aged 88, as did one of her sisters. She was quite old when she had me, 42, as was dad, who was born in 1894 and died when he was 91. I was the youngest of nine children, and my eldest sister and my eldest brother both died of a heart attack.
DID THAT MAKE YOU WORRY ABOUT YOUR HEART
A few years ago I found out I had high cholesterol, even though my diet was healthy. Diabetes also runs in the family. So I’ve become a lot more vigilant, and upped my exercise. I’m also more careful about the fats I eat, and my cholesterol has come down.
My husband, Michael, loves ice cream and occasionally I’ll nick some of it, but not too often as I don’t want my cholesterol to shoot up. I do try to be careful. I’m only 5ft 2in and I could be lighter. Whenever people see me they exclaim: ‘Oh, aren’t you little!’
Never a faddy diet — I’m not into that. But I recently saw a nutritionist because I was lacking in energy and having stomach cramps. I did a food intolerance test, which showed I was intolerant to lettuce, plums, tomatoes and yeast. I’ve eliminated them from my diet and I feel so much better. I’ve started eating quinoa, which is delicious.
'I'm a pretty happy person, which is a legacy from my parents,' said Brenda
DO YOU KEEP FIT
I’m nowhere near as fit as I was a few years ago when I did three London Marathons in a row, but I’m pretty good. I do a lot of brisk walking to get my heartbeat up. I tried Zumba for the first time recently and loved it.
WOULD YOU HAVE PLASTIC SURGERY
I don’t see the point of having those big inflated lips. I don’t want to look like everyone else, I want to look like me. It’s silly to go on about combating ageing.
HOW WELL DO YOU COPE WITH PAIN
I’ve got a pretty high threshold. When I go to the dentist, I don’t really ever need an injection. I actually love it when the lights go down and he pulls the reflective apparatus over the chair so I can see what he’s doing.
IS MAN FLU A MYTH
Oh no, it definitely exists, but it’s spelt S-L-O-T-H.
EVER GET DEPRESSED
No, I’m a pretty happy person, which is a legacy from my parents. We may have been very poor but there was always laughter in the house.
I can sleep anywhere, anytime. I can sleep standing up, practically.
'I don't want to look like everyone else, I want to look like me. It's silly to go on about combating ageing,' said Brenda
If I have a humdinger, a glass of water, a Mars bar and back to bed.
LIKE TO LIVE FOR EVER
Actually I’m a bit tired already…
Brenda is a patron of Barnardo’s, which is working with children who are victims of sexual exploitation. Donate at barnardos.org.uk/cuttingthemfree or text FREE445 to 70070