If you watched Mamma Mia! and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and wondered why the character Rosie looked so familiar, it’s because the actress portraying her, Julie Walters, built a successful career that’s spanned decades. Walters began her acting career back in the 1970s and famously worked with Victoria Wood on several television series. Walters co-starred in Wood and Walters, Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV, and Pat and Margaret (via IMDb). The British actress is proud of her working-class roots. Her father worked as a builder and decorator while her mom worked as a clerical assistant. In 2015, she spoke to The Guardian openly about her fear that a lack of working-class actors would mean a lack of working-class stories being told.
“People like me wouldn’t have been able to go to college today. I could because I got a full grant. I don’t know how you get into it now. Kids write to me all the time and I think: I don’t know what to tell you. Working-class kids aren’t represented. Working-class life is not referred to. It’s really sad. I think it means we’re going to get loads more middle-class drama. It will be middle-class people playing working-class people, like it used to be.”
Even if you’re not familiar with her very earlier work, Walters also played another beloved character for years: Molly Weasley.
Julie Walters played Molly Weasley for 10 years
Julie Walters was cast as Molly Weasley in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 2001 and played the beloved matriarch for the next ten years. She was notably excluded from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, an omission she said was disappointing. Walters told The Express, “To be honest, I was a bit hurt not to be in it. The kids love the Harry Potter films so much and I get lots of mail about it. I can understand why they’ve had to pare down the film as the book is so long but I am really hoping I’ll be in again for the next one” (via The Leaky Cauldron).
However, Walters rejoined the team for future films and was particularly excited about her role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two. Prior to the beginning of production, she told What’s On TV, “It is back to Harry Potter. Mrs. Weasley has a lot to do this time. I kill Helena Bonham Carter for a start – and not many can say that. We have a bit of a wand contest, I can’t wait. It will be sad, though, because I’ve watched all of them all grow up. It will certainly leave a void.”
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