Miriam Margolyes opened up about sexuality, body image and the nation’s “inequality” in a wide-ranging interview as one of the three cover stars of British fashion magazineJuly number.
The actor and LGBT+ icon appeared on the cover of the legendary fashion magazine for the first time at the age of 82, as part of Pride Month celebrations. The interview, conducted by journalist Chris Godfrey, accompanied by a photo shoot shows topless Margolyes posing with her breasts hidden by Belgian-style buns.
To mark pride month, British fashion magazine is representing a wide range of LGBT+ stories, including those of pop star Janelle Monae, Our last actors Bella Ramsey and Rina Sawayama. The covers have been revealed exclusively in independencePride in London’s official news partner.
In the interview, Margolyes, who is known for her role in the 1993 film Innocent age and as Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter series, says she is “never ashamed of being gay” and “wouldn’t want to be outspoken about anything”.
Speaking of her body image, Margolyes admits she has struggled with insecurity, but is determined to stay in shape despite her.
“I think my face is kind, warm, open and smiling,” she said. “But I hate my body. I hate big t**s [and I have] The belly sags, the legs are slightly bent. I’m not excited about that. But you just make the best of it. You have to. You do the best you can.
“It’s a strong position if you’re not afraid to be yourself,” she commented.
“We are all very insecure. People are scared all the time and what I always try to do… (is) make people feel good about themselves.”
Margolyes came out as a lesbian in 1966, when homosexuality was still illegal in the UK. She told British fashion magazine that she’s always felt proud of her identity: “I’ve never been embarrassed about being gay or anything really. I know it’s not a crime because it’s me. I can’t be a criminal.”
She continued: “I think gay people are very lucky, because we’re not conventional, we’re a bit of an aloof group. It gives us an advantage. We are good artists, we are good musicians. And I love being gay. I wouldn’t want to be outspoken about anything.
Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial
Margolyes has been with her partner, Australian historian Heather Sutherland, for 54 years.
In most ways, the interviewer suggests that living as gay is easier now than it was half a century ago. But many LGBT+ people have expressed concern in recent years that the UK is starting to fall behind when it comes to LGBT+ rights.
“That’s not the gay part of everything. I worry about all that,” Margolyes replied.
“I just think Britain has gone bad. And the government is at the heart of s***. There has been a moral slide in England into the depths of wickedness.”
When asked if the situation in the country could improve in the near future, Margolyes mentioned the Tories’ extremely divisive anti-immigration policies.
“I don’t have much hope at the moment,” she said. “I can’t believe people really approve of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda. Something happened to ordinary decent people that they might have thought was a legitimate solution.”
Announced in April 2022 by former prime minister Boris Johnson and former home secretary Priti Patel, the policy sees asylum seekers in the UK be deported to Rwanda for processing and resettlement. In the May, independence revealed that home secretary Suella Braverman is facing new charges of ministerial code violations because she did not formally disclose her previous years of work with the Rwandan government.
Elsewhere in the interview, Margolyes added that she was “a little bit excited” by the idea of getting into politics on her own. “But I’m too loose,” she added.
See full feature in the July issue of British fashion magazineavailable via digital download and on newsstands from Tuesday, June 20.
Margolyes became known to a whole new generation of fans when she was cast as Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter franchise, starting with the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Her other roles include the 1981 historical drama red1995 family comedy babe and the revisionist of Baz Luhrmann Romeo + Juliette (1996). On TV, she has appeared in memorable roles in series such as black crocodile and, more recently, call the midwife.
Last month, Margolyes revealed that she was hospitalized for heart surgery.
The actor underwent transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), a minimally invasive procedure in which a narrow aortic valve is replaced.