This month, Nancy Buckland Kirk caught up with Patsy Kensit about embracing imperfection, the power of women coming together to support each other, both off and online, returning to Holby City, and focusing on being life-ready, not beach or camera-ready!
The first time I ever interviewed Patsy Kensit, I had no idea I was going to interview her at all. I just thought I was going to a beauty workshop where I could possibly throw out a question from the crowd. As a style writer, I couldn’t wait to get there. As a superfan, I was so nervous I could hardly sit still. What started as a question has led to a year long conversation, and so I thought it only fitting that I have a proper sit down with Patsy, to catch up with her and see where the past twelve months have taken her. As we spoke, she was getting ready to go to the Miu Miu show in Paris, but that’s the only starry piece of information she had for me. Grounded, easy to talk to and decidedly un-starry, it is always a pleasure to have a conversation with her, and obviously it had to be for His & Hers, as that is how we first met.
Patsy, it’s been quite a year. Tell us about the launch of Conscious Puberty Patsy Kensit?
It’s an Instagram-based project right now, and is really just a discussion that myself and my team have most days, that we then open up to our followers. It’s nothing commercial, it really is just something I wanted to actively create, a real and open space, to start a conversation with other women. Away from glossy imagery, we all feel the heat of being imperfect, and I understand that pressure so much. But luckily for me, women really open up and talk to me, and I feel truly honoured that they do. So whether it’s health, relationships, body image or what’s in the media, we talk about what arises naturally. But we also look outside and involve our followers, featuring their experiences and adventures. We’ve just started Make The Change, featuring women around the UK who are really doing extraordinary things with their lives. Our first featured participant, Maureen, has gone back to the University she attended as a mature student, and is now a lecturer there. Her story about positivity, and really setting yourself goals that you can work on realistically, was so inspiring to us. We are, I hope, a unique and uplifting community right now, growing organically as we go.
What has feedback been like from the public?
It’s been refreshing and supportive. I didn’t want to go out there and try and reinvent the wheel. It really is a discussion and a forum for us to talk about issues that affect our everyday lives, and also anything topical that is happening that also relates to us. Our followers really interact with us, and also with each other, which really is the best part. Women sharing their stories with other women, and gaining strength and comfort from them, has been a bonus for me. It’s wonderful to see people truly connecting with each other.
Will you be returning to our screens any time soon?
I am working on a few projects at the moment, and it is no secret that I am participating in Holby City’s 20th Anniversary celebrations, but apart from that: my lips are sealed! Holby has such a huge fan base, and the reaction to Faye’s return has been both humbling and remarkable for me. The show is held in such affection by the British public, and I am so proud that I spent such a great part of my professional life working on it.
How do you feel about roles for female actors in general?
I think it is a world which is opening up wonderfully, and for women of all age groups and backgrounds. When you look at the international success of shows like Killing Eve, and accomplished dramas like Gentleman Jack, for instance, then women really are taking centre stage right now, both in front of the camera and behind it. And I feel that the parts are written so authentically, and stereotypes are just falling away. As an actress, and as a viewer, I couldn’t ask for more.
Anyone you are really admiring at the moment?
It has to be Meryl Streep in Big Little Lies. The small screen is becoming home even to Oscar winners now, and Meryl is in a class of her own. The cast is already gilt-edged and noteworthy, and it is to the team’s credit that they have created something so edge-of-the-seat that is still truly watchable. Meryl is a masterclass in how to deliver any performance, that’s for sure. And as a viewer, it’s something I talk to my friends and my team about after every episode. Isn’t that what the best television programmes inspire?
Can you tell us about your summer plans?
Now I am back filming again, you keep working when the set work is over, so I know I am busy with interviews and promotions soon. But summer is traditionally a family time for me, and I always try and organise a lovely holiday for us, completely away from the work I do publically. That has always worked so well for me. And I aim to be a little more carefree when I get there. From talking to everyone through Conscious Puberty, I have realised being self critical about your appearance, especially during summer months, cancels out all of the benefits of wonderful times with family and friends. So I am going to worry less about what I am wearing, or what my hair is doing, or if I am camera or beach ready, and I’m just going to embrace being life ready.
Life ready? I like the sound of that.
You can follow Patsy’s campaign on Instagram @consciouspubertypatsykensit
Related read: An afternoon with Patsy Kensit.