Cold Feet actress Hermione Norris on how women should celebrate their bodies

Getting older isn't easy for any woman but actress Hermione Norris is positively delighted to be within touching distance of her fifties.

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by Closer staff |
Published on

“It's a funny one, getting older.

"It's upon you and suddenly you go, “Oh gosh how did that happen?” says the 47-year-old In The Club star, who is working with Kenwood to help find the UK's 15 most hopeless home chefs.

To enter the competition, click here or go to www.kenwooddisaster-chef.com.

“I don't know why but I always looked forward to being in my fifties and I'm really heading that way now.

"I think there's some kind of relief in not having to worry so much any more about how you look in the way that you do when you are younger.

"It's all behind you and the pressure is off.”

The 5ft 7 actress, who has always been a healthy size 10 thanks to a high metabolism, says that this relaxed attitude to her body is a far cry from her early days at the prestigious Elmhurst School for Dance.

“I trained as a classical dancer from the age of 11 until I was 17 when I decided to go to drama school,” says Hermione, who first rose to fame as Karen Marsden in cult 90s drama Cold Feet.

“We would practice for up to six hours and day and obviously as a ballerina what you look like physically is really important.

“You're constantly staring at yourself in the mirror, looking at alignment, posture and physique but I've gone the completely opposite way, and give it much less attention.

"Nowadays, I concentrate on my health from the inside.”

Because of that pressure, Hermione doesn't even weigh herself anymore - but she does her best to make healthy meal choices.

Hermione prefers making healthy meal choices nowadays
Hermione prefers making healthy meal choices nowadays

“I can't remember the last time I did.

"Now I'm this age, I really do stress less about it.

"Putting weighht on and off... what is the point?

"Everybody has their own natural body weight and life is too short to count calories.

"If I eat three square meals a day and am as healthily as I possibly can be, my weight doesn't deviate - and if a pair of trouser are too tight, then okay I'll do what I can to lose it."

Hermione, who lives in Somerset with her TV producer husband of 12 years, Simon Wheeler, and their two children Wilf, 10 and Hero, 7, is the first to admit that she's not exactly a domestic goddess.

Hermione says she's no domestic Goddess!

“Being domestic isn't really my thing.”

But the star of Spooks and The Crimson Field is very much into fuelling her body with all the right things, especially during long shoot days.

She starts the day with toast and marmalade and coffee, and if she's at home will have a cheese salad for lunch, followed by chicken and vegetables for dinner.

Snacks will be any fruit in the bowl, such as apples or bananas.

“If I'm on set it's a little different because I have breakfast, then a banana at 11am and a handful of nuts here and there throughout the day.

"I drink a load of water because I've noticed that if my energy goes down, and I'm struggling with lines, especially on a job like Spooks where there's lots of facts and information to learn, then drinking water is the most effect thing to do.

"It really helps with with memory."

She also relies on a good night's sleep to get her through the day. No less than six hours a night and during filming, she's in bed by 9pm or 10pm.

“My stamina is good but filming a series is like running a marathon. At its busiest, it's a six day week - you're picked up around 5.45am and not home til 7.30pm.

"Then, at the end of the day after all that, you have to learn your lines, so you really have to pace yourself. Lots of sleep, eating properly, water and vitamin C.

"I rarely drink alcohol because of my heavy schedule, so it's a lot of tea amd water.

And of course, there are the dogs who give her an excellent reason to get out of the house and get her heart rate up.

She has two; Milly, a Jack Russell and Beth, a two-year-old Pointer.

“Walking my dogs is my fitness routine now.

"My level of fitness was really high in drama school and then over the years I've done everything, from a step classes with my girlfriends back in the day to the gym, running, yoga and swimming, but it's about having time.

"Exercise is low on my list because by the time I've done my work and seen to the children, there isn't a lot of day left.

But I get out for at least an hour every day with the dogs if I can. Beth has so much energy she can run around the world and not be tired.

"Sometimes I run with then but not often.”

Back at home though she admits that the working mum life balance can be exhausting.

Husband Simon does a lot of cooking. “He's the whizz in the kitchen, much better than i am.

A self-proclaimed 'disaster chef' she's teamed up with Kenwood to find the country's worst cooks.

She says: “I remember baking a cake for my family when I was younger and I forgot to put the flour in. They thought it was hilarious and never let me forget it!

“So what I do now is keep things simple.

All good things come to those who wait

"It's only since becoming a mother that I've had to really turn my attention to providing nourishing meals for my children.

"I go in phases - at the moment it's slicing vegetables, like courgettes and very finely and baking them. If I was going to push the boat out I'd cook a really nice roast chicken.

"I'd love to be a genius in the kitchen but I'm not, although I'm trying my best!”

There is one thing Hermione would change about herself but it's not her body.

“I'd like to have long, thick dark hair”, she says. But the actress is happy to be where she is right now.

“I can't bear that desperation to cling on to youth.

"It's painful watching people do that. Sex And The City is a prime example of a group of women clawing to hang onto their youth, and it's not a real representation of women.

"I think it's unkind to women, it's not compassionate.

"Women do a huge amount; we bear children and it takes a lot from our bodies.

"We should celebrate that. Beauty is not about how many wrinkles you have, it should shine from within.

"If you feel healthy and contented in your life it will always reflect on the outside.”

Hermione Norris is spearheading the Kenwood Disaster Chef competition, a nationwide search to find the country’s 15 most hopeless home cooks and turn them into culinary Kings and Queens. For more information, and to enter the competition, visit: kenwooddisaster-chef.com.

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