05/12/2014 06:38 GMT | Updated 05/12/2014 06:59 GMT

Julie Walters: 'Working-Class Kids Can't Afford Drama School, Soon The Only Actors Will Be Privileged - That's Not Right'

Julie Walters has admitted that she worries for working-class youngsters who want to break into the entertainment industry, claiming that soon only “privileged kids” will be able to make a start in the arts.


Julie, who was born and grew up in Birmingham, says that the high cost of drama schools means that they are inaccessible to children from lower income families.

Discussing the problem in a new interview with The Mirror, she says: “Now the theatre is dying out, where do kids start out? They have to pay a lot to go to drama school, then hope they get straight into television or film. But working-class kids can’t afford that.

julie walters

Julie Walters

Forty years ago, Julie graduated from Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre, where her classmates were Bill Nighy, Jonathan Pryce and Matthew Kelly, but admits she is worried that young people today might not have the same start in life that she had.

She adds: “I was lucky - I had a grant. You can’t get a grant to go to drama school now.

“Soon the only actors are going to be privileged kids whose parents can afford to send them to drama school. That’s not right. It feels like we are going backwards.”

Julie first became known for her work with Victoria Wood, before branching out on her own to star in films like ‘Educating Rita’, ‘Billy Elliot’ and the ‘Harry Potter’ series, where she played Mrs. Weasley.

One role she’s yet to land, though, is a part in ‘Coronation Street’, with show bosses denying rumours that she was about to arrive on the cobbles earlier this year.

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