Transcripts

19 April 2009: The Observer

My Body & Soul

Are you healthy? For my age I'm quite good. I confess I do a lot of the wrong things: I smoke and I drink wine, and people might be horrified at my eating habits - I eat when I'm hungry and if I'm not I don't.

How much sleep do you need? A lot. Without it I'm a wimp. I become tearful and hopeless, like a child. I regard bed as my best friend.

Attitude to smoking? I smoke more than I should - 20 a day. I've smoked since I was 18 with intervals of not smoking when I was pregnant and when I've been ill. The curious part about it is I can go for hours without; getting on a plane and not smoking for 15 hours simply doesn't worry me at all.

And drugs? In my late 20s, early 30s, working in America I tried cocaine and amyl nitrate. I can't take pot, I just go to sleep. Obviously I don't touch them now. Many years ago when I was working on Broadway I used to go to a drug rehabilitation centre on Sundays. I didn't lecture them against the perils of drug-taking, I gave them drama therapy.

Is sex important to you? Not any more. I'm all for people of my age having a continued sex life, but although I had a wonderful sex life I'm perfectly reconciled and happy not to go there again.

Have you ever had therapy? Yes, I found it totally pointless. When my marriage broke up I went to three separate therapists and each was worse than the last. I can only speak for myself. There are other people it's been incredibly useful for, but not me.

How do you feel about cosmetic surgery? I had my eye job at 44, and since then, nothing.

NHS or private? Private. As soon as I was earning enough money to go private I thought, "I'll get off the NHS and make room for somebody else." It's not that one jumps queues or pushes people aside, it's taking one further burden off the NHS.

Have you ever taken an antidepressant? Yes, I had the baby blues very, very badly. Here I was with a beautiful, healthy baby and a husband who adored me, and I was in a terrible pit of depression. The only effect the antidepressant had was I was crying faster than I used to, so I stopped and eventually came out of it. I do, on reflection, see that my body was mourning - I had nurtured this other being which had left my body - and my mind was reflecting that.


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