Julie Walters' cancer diagnosis was a "huge relief"
The 'Mamma Mia' star was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer - of which she has since got the all clear - but as she was really busy at the time and had been working very hard, she admits there was some "strange" relief in the news
20 October 2020
She said: "I had a weird reaction to it. Part of me was going, ‘Oh my God! I’ve got cancer! Oh my God!’ And I’m dealing with the shock of that, and it’s all systems go to have it treated. But there was also an element of going, ‘I don’t have to do any more work.
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"I can actually get off this treadmill.’ Because I had been working really hard and it seemed like a big excuse not to do anything. Cancer trumps everything. So there was a huge relief in it, which is strange. But I needed something to stop me."
And the 70-year-old actress believes acting could have caused her cancer but will "never say never" to getting back on set one day in the future.
She added to The Times newspaper's Saturday Review: "It was a feeling that I'm in my sixties and these parts are coming in, so I should do it. It was almost as if somewhere you know that you’re going to be stopped. I must do it before I can’t. Whereas now I think, 'Oh, gosh, I don’t need that.’ And my husband constantly says, ‘You don’t need to do that.’ And so I don’t. And I think once you get something like cancer, something has to change. Otherwise you’re just going to get it again. Well, I'll never say never [to working again]. The oncologist said to me, ‘What do you think has caused the cancer?’ And the first thing that came to my mind was acting. Acting caused it. Because of the way that I approach it. I have to be totally in it. Everything has to be just so. It’s very stressful. You’re immediately above the parapet. You’re being judged. It’s a stressful job and I don’t sleep when I’m working. It’s not good for me."