General News

Julie Walters wants more funding for British film industry

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Jan 02, 2014 | 7:29am EST

Harry Potter star Julie Walters has called on the British government to increase funding for the country's film industry and help more "working class kids" go to drama school. The actress admits she was devastated to learn of last year's (13) arts budget cuts, which included slashing funding for the British Film Institute, and she is convinced the U.K. movie industry deserves more support. She tells British magazine Yours, "British films bring a lot of revenue into this country and should be supported. Our special effects are the best in the world, thanks to the Harry Potter films, which we made in Britain with a British cast and crew. They weren't Americanised and are total proof of how great we Brits are at film." Walters also fears many children from poor backgrounds are denied the chance to study drama because of soaring school fees, and she wants more help to be given so the industry does not become dominated by actors from wealthy families. She adds, "Art should reflect society but that's not going to happen if there's no funding for working class kids - like I was - to follow their passion. In acting, I certainly think we could end up with too many posh people, the only people who can afford to go to drama school, and that all the working class roles will be taken by posh people pretending to be working class, like it used to be before the Sixties. "Not that there will be many new working class roles because there won't be any working class writers and the society we'll live in won't be represented. If I was starting out today, I would never have been able to afford to go to drama school."

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