Belfast Telegraph

Watson: I feel liberated from looks

Emily Watson has said it felt "liberating" to play ugly characters, rather than have to worry about her looks on screen.

The 47-year-old award-winning actress stars alongside Geoffrey Rush and Sophie Nelisse in the big-screen adaptation of Markus Zusak's novel The Book Thief, about life for a young girl growing up in Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Emily plays grumpy old fishwife Rosa Hubermann, her adoptive mother.

Emily said: "It's a very liberating to do that. Not to have to worry about it [appearance], not to have to be a part of that club. The thinner, prettier, shorter, tighter what ever-it-is-club. It just allows you to get on with your job.

But she confessed: "When I saw this I thought, 'Oh my God, I really went for it!' But no I'm kind of over the way I look, although for a long time I was over it, and now I'm going 'Oh my God, I'm getting old!' so that's a whole another thing, of, 'Gosh, I look a bit different now'."

The British star has previously described herself as "a character actress who gets laid".

She said of her roles: "They necessarily reflect the age that you are and some of that is slightly less interesting. I get to play a lot of straightforward mums.

"But at the same time when they are interesting, they're really interesting - in a really complicated and mature and grown up way and I love that, and I didn't get that when I was younger."

:: The Book Thief is released on Wednesday, February 26

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