Sunday 22 September 2019

Ashley Jensen: Pressure to look young worse in UK than Hollywood

The actress said she did not bow to pressure to look young in Los Angeles.

House of Fraser BAFTA TV Awards 2016 – Arrivals – London
House of Fraser BAFTA TV Awards 2016 – Arrivals – London

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Ugly Betty star Ashley Jensen has said there is more pressure to look young and glamorous in the UK than she ever felt in Hollywood.

The Scottish actress, 48, who moved to Los Angeles for her role in the comedy, said she did not change herself at all when she lived in Hollywood.

She told the Radio Times: “I was too old to bow to any pressure – and I refused to.

Ashley Jensen

“I went there the same way as I came back. I think there’s more pressure over here now than I ever felt over there.

“It’s one of these twisted things that’s become the norm, which is that women are not allowed to grow old.

“It’s becoming more normal to see a face that looks like a cross between a hard-boiled egg and a cat.”

The star, who will next be seen in drama Love, Lies and Records, moved to Los Angeles in 2006 for the hit series starring America Ferrera, after a break-out role in Extras as Maggie Jacobs.

She said: “I went there slightly older than most people do and it was almost like getting pregnant by accident, like ‘Oh God, my head’s not quite ready for this’.

“It was so different there, I did feel like a grubby interloper sometimes.

“I’d watch myself in Ugly Betty and go, ‘What am I doing in that? How did that happen?’.

“Everything escalated quickly after doing Extras with Ricky Gervais. It was never part of my game plan to go to America.”


:: The new issue of Radio Times is out now.

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