Belfast Telegraph

Rob Brydon: male actors under more pressure to look good to extend careers

The comedian and actor was speaking at the premiere of new film Swimming With Men

Comedian and actor Rob Brydon has said he thinks male screen actors are under more pressure to look good for longer into their careers than ever before.

Brydon, 53, was speaking at the premiere of his new film Swimming With Men at London’s Mayfair Curzon Cinema.

In the film, Brydon plays an accountant suffering a mid-life crisis who escapes from his marriage and work troubles by joining an amateur men’s synchronised swimming team.

He and co-stars Jim Carter, 69, and Rupert Graves, 55, appear in much of the film in their swimming trunks.

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The cast of Swimming With Men at the film’s premiere in London (Ian West/PA)

When asked by the Press Association if male actors were increasingly expected to look younger in order to extend their careers, as female actors have traditionally been, Brydon said: “I think so yes.

“There are some male actors who seem suspiciously youthful. As the years go by, you’re thinking ‘surely by now…’.”

He jokingly added: I’m clearly not one of them, but there are those and you think ‘bloomin’ heck’.

“I’m not going to name any names, but there are some out there and you think ‘you must be 106 now’, and they look good!

“I suppose if you are looking at body issues, this film says ‘be yourself’. There is a part in it where we say ‘stop holding you bellies in’. Just be who you are.”

The Welsh actor was also asked whether he would be supporting England or Sweden in the sides’ World Cup quarter-final match on Saturday.

Brydon replied: “I want England to win, of course I do. I think it’s so petty-minded to say ‘I’m Welsh, I hope they lose’. It’s great for Britain if they win.”

Brydon was joined on the event’s blue carpet by co-star Charlotte Riley, who plays the team’s coach in the movie.

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Swimming With Men star Charlotte Riley with husband Tom Hardy (Ian West/PA)

When asked if she thought male actors were now under similar pressure as their female colleagues to look good physically, Riley replied: “I think that it is a personal thing.

“You will find female actors who couldn’t give two f***s about how their body changes over the years, from child birth to the menopause, and you think you get men who it’s incredibly important to and others who embrace getting older.

“There is increasing pressure on men, whether actors choose to adhere to it is a very individual thing.”

Riley was joined at the premiere by her husband, Academy Award nominated actor Tom Hardy.

Riley confirmed that while she and Hardy, 40, had nothing planned, they would like to work together again after appearing together in TV dramas Wuthering Heights and The Take.

Swimming With Men is in cinemas throughout the UK from July 6.

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