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What I see in the mirror: Jemima Rooper

I am 5ft 2in, my hair is dark brown and I have a fringe. I am like my mum – she used to be dark like me and we have the same mushy green colour eyes and a similar shaped face and mouth. It’s nice to have a big gob and big lips, but I have never been able to have correct teeth in the now uniform American-influenced way and that annoys me. I started working when I was a kid – I was 13 when I did the Famous Five – so I couldn’t have a brace.

As an actor, you are over-paranoid about what you look like, because in auditions it feels as if your appearance is 90% of what they are looking at. My best friend drew a picture of how I describe myself and she drew a short, fat troll. I see tiny little piggy eyes, a massive jaw and all the imperfections.

I cover as much of my face as possible, either with hair or makeup. For One Man, Two Guvnors, they cut off all my hair to make me look like a boy, which made me feel massively insecure; and when I was doing Atlantis, they had a no makeup policy on camera, which was absolutely terrifying.

I am 32 and looking forward to getting older, because when you do things like starting a family, your focus goes to things other than yourself. I get scared, as I am sure all actors do, that if you are not blessed with the best bone structure or genes, you might age in a terrible way. I am terrified of getting jowls and looking like Geoffrey Palmer.

Jemima Rooper stars in Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud theatre until 7 June.

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