Tuesday 16 January 2018

Imrie reveals cast's sequel 'shock'

Celia Imrie stars in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the follow-up to the surprise hit 2011 movie
Celia Imrie stars in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the follow-up to the surprise hit 2011 movie

Calendar Girls actress Celia Imrie has told how the cast of the new sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel got an unwelcome surprise - when they discovered that they looked "so old" on screen.

Dame Maggie Smith, Richard Gere, Bill Nighy and Dame Judi Dench star in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the follow-up to the surprise hit 2011 movie.

British actress Imrie, 62, told The Graham Norton Show that because the film's director, John Madden, shunned flattering, artificial lighting to film the movie under the harsh glare of the sun, the cast were stunned to see themselves looking older than they had imagined on the big-screen.

"We didn't have any fancy lighting or anything," Imrie said.

"It was just the bright, bright heat of the sun.

"First of all, I think I am 26 still but I'm not and at the screening we all looked at ourselves and came out in absolute shock."

She added: "The director caught us all stunned and asked what the matter was and when we told him we all looked so old he just roared with laughter."

Imrie, who appears on Friday's Graham Norton show with Hollywood star Sean Penn and comedian Ross Noble, also talked about one of her unusual roles, playing a fighter pilot in the 1999 Star Wars prequel, Episode I - The Phantom Menace.

"The thing is, I had no idea who I was fighting, whether I won, whether I survived or who I was shooting at, but I did have a rather gorgeous costume," she said.

"I hadn't got a clue."

And she revealed that she still gets comments, from strangers, about posing naked, apart for some strategically placed iced buns, in Calendar Girls.

"I was in Paris walking down the Champs Elysees and along comes this rather good looking man with a bit of twinkle in his eye," she said.

"He stops and looks me right in the chest and said, 'Aha, le grand gateaux!'"

The Graham Norton Show is screened on BBC1 and BBC1 HD on Friday at 10.35pm.

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