(W&N; reprint edition, 23 July 2009) Movie-goers know her as Mother Weasley in the Harry Potter films, as well as Educating Rita (1983), Calendar Girls (2003) and Mama Mia! (2008), and many more. She has been on stage and in film since she was a teenager (having dropped out of nursing college) and Julie Walters, she of the small eyes (by her own admission), small stature and all, is now one of the UK’s most acclaimed and popular actresses and comediennes.
Walter’s voice comes through clearly in the raucous language and free-wheeling style of the writing, which is packed with honest and often genuinely funny, laugh-out-loud anecdotes. From the reminiscences and the photos, it is clear that Walters is a down-to-earth Birmingham woman with an extraordinary talent who has been hugely, and deservedly, successful. On one photo she struts her stuff in an Anthony Price dress for the premiere of Educating Rita, and much like Rita would have done, she gets it ever so slightly wrong: – the shoes don’t match the dress, and the seam of her tights show in the open toes of the shoes. But her smile is dazzling, her legs dynamite and her pose triumphant. Apart from the humour there are also skilful insights, tender memories (for instance of her father) and contemplation of the “sometimes prickly” relationship with her mother, which was only resolved once she had a daughter of her own.