Patsy Kensit vows to keep her love life private as she opens up on plastic surgery and her youthful appearance
With nearly 40 years in the entertainment industry under her belt, it’s fair to say Patsy Kensit has seen and done it all. So naturally we couldn’t wait to chat to the actress to get to know a little more about the woman behind her roles in Emmerdale, Holby City and Lethal Weapon 2.
In this intimate interview exclusively for OK! VIP Members, Patsy doesn’t disappoint, opening up about everything from plastic surgery to the lessons she’s learnt about love and why she's keeping her future relationships private.
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She’s a star of both the big and small screen, so we’re thrilled to sit down for a Zoom chat with Patsy Kensit and hear about the woman behind the hit roles.
The actress, who turns 53 next month, looks incredible at our shoot near her North London home.
And she has plenty to say about the long lockdowns and the toll they have taken on her – particularly her struggle at being separated from her boys James, 27, and Lennon, 21, who she says “usually come over every day”.
However, she tells us she considers herself “lucky overall” as neither she nor her boys have suffered from the virus. “There are so many people worse off with Covid,” she says. “These lockdowns are so necessary.”
Patsy has had a long and varied career, featuring in Hollywood films alongside the likes of Mel Gibson in the 80s and making her mark closer to home in soaps Emmerdale and Holby City, as Sadie King and Faye Morton respectively.
We talk about her return to telly in forthcoming ITV drama series McDonald & Dodds – as well as more personal topics.
Patsy has been married and does date but cherishes her private life, preferring to keep her romantic situation out of the public domain now after years of headlines.
“I can never understand why anyone is in any way interested in my love life,” she giggles.
Here, Patsy talks candidly about subjects including love, the menopause, cosmetic surgery, empty nest syndrome and how her beloved boys have kept her going…
Hi, Patsy. How have you found a full year of lockdowns?
The first one feels like a distant memory now. I worked through the November lockdown on McDonald & Dodds and I was busy. This time it’s absolutely floored me and I’m not finding it fun at all. I haven’t seen my boys but thank God we’re all well.
I go out for walks but it’s such a terrible worry. I’ve had a few duvet days and this lockdown has hit very hard. My close group of friends have all been feeling the same.
Have you suffered from empty nest syndrome?
It’s so painful I can’t tell you. Everyone’s emotional at the moment, aren’t they? Every day it’s been really hard.
I don’t let the boys know that but I know they feel it because they’re constantly checking in. They have their own lives but I’m not going to lie, there’s an ache in my heart.
When did they move out?
It’s been over a year but I keep thinking about them as babies, how they’ve grown up so quickly and, “Did I enjoy the moment as much as I should have?” You think, “Why was I cross about laundry on the floor?” All these things that drive you insane.
I’ve been saying to the boys, “Come over and make a mess.” It’s been really tough and I don’t feel weak saying that. But I would hate for them to think they can’t go forth and conquer. They’re in my heart and soul and I adore them.
Have you done anything to replace that void since they left?
I’ve been getting back into exercise and for me, personally, I need to get outside and get my body moving. Two of my girlfriends live five minutes away, so I’ll go with one of them on a walk to Regent’s Park – keeping it socially distanced, of course.
Are you keeping in touch with James and Lennon regularly?
We speak every day and neither have had coronavirus, thank God. We keep in touch with phone calls but they’re not into FaceTiming me. It might come to that if it carries on.
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Are you dating in lockdown?
There’s so much I could say but I can’t… Only because I’ve worked hard on having a personal life, because it puts too much pressure on relationships. I’ve had relationships end because the other person wants their own privacy – but everything’s great [Laughs].
What lessons have you learnt about love over the years?
I’m not parading it in front of the world any more. I’ve learnt having a private life is incredible. I’ve had lots of ups and downs, and there were days in the past when I didn’t want to get out of bed and wouldn’t want to go to work, but I went.
I thank my boys for this. I never missed a day of work when I was going through a passing in the public eye.
What example would I be to my boys if when life kicks you in the arse, you crumble? You have to pick yourself up and carry on, because what kind of parent would I be?
It seems one of the loves of your life is your job…
Outside of my boys and the joys and strength I get from being a mother, I would say yes, that comes next. Oh, and the cat [Bowie]!
It’s what I do [acting] and what I’ve always done, and I take comfort in that. I still get excited and nervous, and get adrenaline from doing it.
Do you think as women get older it’s harder to find roles?
I’ve been really lucky. It’s different now to when I was 22 or 32 but I’ve managed to carve a career out for myself.
It’s hard to make a transition from that but I’ve kind of sailed through it pretty seamlessly. I love working and I love the camaraderie of everyone on set. It’s always tough being an actor but I’ve had a great couple of years.
How do you keep looking so youthful?
I run every day and I started to do this course of StimSure Cynosure. It’s like a paddle, it’s non-invasive and they put it on your tummy and it contracts the muscles. It’s like doing a workout.
I eat healthily, I do cardio and I don’t go in the sun any more. I used to sit in the sun with Ambre Solaire oil and it’s horrific the damage it’s probably done to my skin.
I drink lots of water and I have the odd gin and sour but I’m the most boring person. I’ve been around for so long and I’ve been there and seen it. I like the quieter personal life that I have.
It’s something I really cherish, because over the years it hasn’t always been that way and I wouldn’t want to leave the house, but now it’s blissful.
So do you like the quiet life now?
Very much. I like watching movies, I like speaking to my boys, I like being at home and I like working, so I’m lucky I’m able to do that.
There’s been speculation that you’ve had cosmetic surgery. Have you?
I’ve had Botox in the past but I don’t now, because of work. I want to look the best I can for the age that I’m at, so I don’t do anything.
I’ve got real crow’s feet but I call them my laughter lines now. Plastic surgery? Why not? I’m not at that place in my life yet but I won’t rule it out.
If someone wants plastic surgery, let them. I can’t stand bullying or bodyshaming and I’ve had all of that over the years and it does affect you.
You’ve been open in the past about your struggles with the menopause. How are you feeling at the moment?
I’m now good but I’ve had my good and bad days. I had to have an emergency hysterectomy, because they found a tumour in my womb. Thankfully, it was benign and then they found two more.
And with the menopause I wasn’t even premenopausal, I went from being clear as a bell and then woke up in intensive care [after her hysterectomy] with the sweats, difficulty getting words out and the menopause fog brain.
I once went to Waitrose when I did a food shop and I thought, “What the hell am I doing here?” I bought a cabbage and a pair of American tan tights – neither were eaten or worn. It was that nutty. Nowadays, people are empathetic for it and I’m happy for this next generation coming up, because menopause used to be a dirty word.
Wow, it sounds like you’ve had quite a journey!
I don’t want to look back any more, because looking back is something I’ve done way too much of as I’ve got older. I choose to be in the moment and the here and now.
I really believe in positive affirmations and I’ve seen it work. I also meditate and it’s changed my life.
Do you feel more confident than ever?
What really changed was in my mid-forties and not caring about other people’s opinions, and really setting boundaries with myself.
Do you have any regrets?
I’d say not enjoying something and caring too much about what people thought. In relationships and situations I might have been in over the years, I cared too much. Going forward, I’m in the best place I’ve ever been.
That’s good to hear! What are your career highlights?
There’s a movie called Angels And Insects, which was nominated for a lot of awards, and Lethal Weapon 2 was great. I got to spend a whole week doing a love scene with Mel Gibson – I can’t believe they paid me to do that!
And then going into something like Emmerdale – I was so excited. I learned so much and we were shooting nearly 70 pages some days. I loved it. Then I went on Holby for four-and-a-half years. There’s so much I want to do and I’d love to play a strong matriarch in her fifties in a continuing drama.
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When have you been the most starstruck over the years?
Meeting David Bowie. I was obsessed with him from 14. At 16, I made a film with him called Absolute Beginners. And the first day we started he shook my hand and turned away. I was crushed. I was such a daft teenager
I thought he’d fall in love with me and we’d run off together. As filming commenced, he was incredibly friendly. One day I was sitting in make-up and he popped his head round the door and I squeaked a “Hi.”
He came in and picked up a hairbrush and started brushing my hair. And it was the most erotic experience of my life.
You’re starring in the second series of McDonald & Dodds on ITV. Tell us about it…
It’s about five individuals who are scenesters in the 80s. My character was described as being Paula Yates meets Clare Grogan from Altered Images and we’re cool. Really, I’m so lucky to have work and have work come to me.
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