The British acting legend underwent treatment for stage-three bowel cancer in 2018, and has since had the all-clear, but it appears only another Mamma Mia! sequel would tempt her back onto a film set.
In an interview with The Times (£) , Julie opened up about receiving her diagnosis, admitting it came as a “huge relief” as it meant she could have a break from her gruelling schedule.
“I had a weird reaction to it,” she said. “Part of me was going, ‘Oh my God! I’ve got cancer! Oh my God!’ And I’m dealing with the shock of that, and it’s all systems go to have it treated. But there was also an element of going, ‘I don’t have to do any more work. I can actually get off this treadmill.’
“Because I had been working really hard and it seemed like a big excuse not to do anything. Cancer trumps everything. So there was a huge relief in it, which is strange. But I needed something to stop me.”
Julie, who only went public with her cancer diagnosis in February, also explained she thought her workload might have caused her illness.
She said: “The oncologist said to me, ‘What do you think has caused the cancer?’ And the first thing that came to my mind was acting. Acting caused it. Because of the way that I approach it. I have to be totally in it. Everything has to be just so.
“It’s very stressful. You’re immediately above the parapet. You’re being judged. It’s a stressful job and I don’t sleep when I’m working. It’s not good for me.”
Julie said “never say never” when asked if that meant she was retiring for good, but added: “After I had the operation and I was thinking about the future, I thought, ‘I don’t want to work again... unless it’s another Mamma Mia!’”
Julie appeared as Rosie Mulligan in the film based on the ABBA stage musical in 2008.
She reprised the role a decade later for sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.