Award-winning actor Julie Walters kicked off our 20th year with an incredible Masterclass session, where she was in conversation with Geoff Colman, Head of Acting at Central School of Speech & Drama.
There was also an opportunity for questions.
British actress Julie Walters studied English and Drama at Manchester Polytechnic. She made her London stage debut in the comedy Funny Peculiar in 1975. While at Manchester, Walters befriended aspiring writer/comedienne Victoria Wood and the twosome appeared together in sketch comedy. A couple of their works, Talent and* Nearly a Happy Ending*, transferred to television, receiving rave reviews and eventually, they were handed their own television series, Wood and Walters in 1981.
In 1980, Walters made her London debut in Educating Rita, for which she won both the Variety Critic's and London Critic's Circle Awards. In 1983, Educating Rita transferred to the big screen opposite Michael Caine, with Walters collecting a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award and Oscar nomination. The following year, Walters reunited with Victoria Wood and they continued to appear together frequently on television, most recently with the award-winning series Dinnerladies (1998).
Further stage credits include Fool for Love, Frankie and Johnny at the Clair de Lune, Macbeth, The Rose Tattoo and All My Sons, winning the Laurence Olivier Award for the latter.
Film credits include Personal Services, Buster, Stepping Out, Prick Up Your Ears, Billy Elliot (which earned her a second Oscar nomination and a BAFTA Award), Calendar Girls and the J.K. Rowling Harry Potter series.
Walters' starring role in BBC TV film A Short Stay In Switzerland earned her an International Emmy Award and a BAFTA nomination. In 2010, she portrayed Mo Mowlam in Mo and was again honoured by BAFTA with the Best Actress award. Walters can be seen in the recent Paddington II and the romantic drama Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool with Jamie Bell, Annette Bening, and Vanessa Redgrave.
Before becoming reunited with the cast on Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Walters completed filming on Mary Poppins Returns, starring alongside Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep and Colin Firth.
For her work on film and television, BAFTA has honoured Walters six times, including four awards in a row (2001-2004). She also received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2014. For services to drama, Walters was appointed an OBE in 1999, followed by a CBE in 2008 and last year she was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire at the Queen's Birthday Honours.