shit she looks a mess
Why Joely Richardson looks a shadow of herself
She vowed to quit Hollywood to look after her sick daughter. But now, Joely Richardson is filming again and worried friends say she's pushing herself too hard
As her chauffeur-driven limo glides through the gates of Hollywood's Paramount Studios, there have been occasions in recent weeks, one suspects, when Joely Richardson has blanched at the thought of what the day's filming holds in store.
In her starring role in plastic surgery drama Nip/Tuck, she has just completed scenes that show her, variously, having sex with beautiful Australian actress Portia de Rossi, getting kidnapped and being sexually abused. scroll down for more
Gaunt image: Joely Richardson looked worryingly think in Venice last week. Below: Joely in healthier times
Producers of the popular TV show have decreed that, for its fifth series, the shock quotient should be upped in the battle for ratings. This is not easily achieved given that during the last series Miss Richardson's character, surgeon's wife Julia McNamara, was - in one explicit scene - caught in flagrante delicto with a midget and, in another, indulging in an act so carnal that Caligula would have been forgiven for reaching for the remote.
So steamy are her scenes with the blonde real-life lesbian Miss de Rossi that even the crew - who are no strangers to unadorned flesh - have been left, at least according to one excitable report stateside last week, 'in a state of shock'.
Meanwhile, Hollywood is buzzing with rumours that Miss de Rossi's long-term girlfriend, chat show host Ellen DeGeneres, is 'mad with jealousy'.
It is, of course, all knockabout, postwatershed nonsense, although hardly what one might expect from the scion of British theatrical royalty (Joely's mother is Vanessa Redgrave and her late father was the director Tony Richardson), let alone the 42-year-old mother of a teenage daughter.
But what is, perhaps, most surprising is that the lovely Miss Richardson is in Los Angeles at all. For a mere ten months ago she announced she was quitting her lucrative job to look after her sick daughter, Daisy, back in Britain.
Her decision to walk out of her £750,000-a-series part was met with astonishment in Tinseltown, and with plaudits from other parents for putting her only child before her glittering career.
At the time, Miss Richardson said of her choice to come home to care for 15-year-old Daisy, who has a rare genetic circulatory condition, which affects her legs: "I can't be in two places at the same time. I know I would always regret not being there for Daisy.
"I've worked hard for many years and Nip/Tuck was a great job. But I just couldn't carry on with it for the sake of my conscience, or for my desires as a mother. In the end, giving it all up was a no-brainer. How can you sleep at night, how can you feel anything in your heart about the people you love if you are unable to make this sort of decision?"
So what has changed? On the face of it, very little. Joely is in the middle of nine months of shooting Nip/Tuck, which will keep her in the US until next spring.
Meanwhile, Daisy, who has undergone a series of operations on her legs, has remained 5,000 miles away in the West of England, where she goes to school. According to friends, mother and daughter, understandably, find the long periods of separation hard.
Reluctantly, it seems, Joely, whose own childhood was blighted by her actress mother's long absences, has, as a single mother (she is divorced from Daisy's father, film producer Tim Bevan) had to put earning a living first. Friends say she is racked with insecurity over Hollywood's notorious reputation for freezing out women once they hit 40. scroll down for more
The British actress and her daughter looked relaxed and happy as they shopped in the Beverly Hills sunshine in July
They told the Mail this week that the actress felt pressured by producers to change her mind because of fears she could be blackballed in Hollywood and may even have faced a hugely expensive lawsuit by the programme's makers, Time Warner, for breaking her seven-year contract.
Eventually, she relented and agreed to appear in the fifth series of Nip/Tuck, which chronicles the tangled love lives of two plastic surgeons, and which will air in the US next month and here later this year.
Patently, if her worrying appearance this week at the Venice Film festival is anything to go by, it has not been an easy decision.
On a break from her 12-hours-a-day filming schedule, the once willowy Miss Richardson looked gaunt and pale on the red carpet of the premiere of Atonement, which stars her mother and was produced by her ex-husband.
Her floor-length, silver strapless Elie Saab gown served only to highlight her diminished chest, jutting collarbones and skeletal arms. With her normally shiny blonde locks scraped back, even her ice blue eyes seemed to have lost their sparkle.
It was a million miles away from her healthy glow when she famously wowed crowds in a shimmering backless Julien Macdonald mini dress at the premiere of Maybe Baby in 2000. Nor has her fragile appearance gone unnoticed by her concerned friends, who have been saying privately for some time that she has been pushing herself far too hard.
Those who have felt brave enough to broach the subject of her tired and frail appearance have been met with a knowing look from the actress. scroll down for more
Nip/Tuck: Joely has just completed scenes that show her, variously, having sex with beautiful Australian actress Portia de Rossi, getting kidnapped and being sexually abused
One friend who told her bluntly she was working too hard was given an equally candid reply. "She told me there is just so much competition for roles that she simply can't risk not taking work when it is offered to her.
"I pointed out as gently as I could that's all very well as long as she does not make herself ill."
Joely has also fallen, say those close to her, into the Hollywood trap of over-exercising (she has been enthusing about the ultra-trendy trapeze work-outs she does while in LA). How ironic, then, given her own anxiety over the fickle world she inhabits, that she should have chosen last week to announce that Daisy is planning to follow her into acting.
Miss Richardson paraded her daughter for the paparazzi outside the Palazzo del Cinema in Venice as she revealed: "There's an acting gene running through the family. I suppose it's difficult to fight those odds. You grow up around it. It's impossible to get away from it."
Daisy, who wore a plunging neckline to the premiere, has the pre-Raphaelite beauty of a star in the making. But Joely was already sounding a note of caution.
"There is so much rejection in the industry - there was for me," she said. "For years and years I couldn't get a gig, and that's very damaging for your confidence. But I have to support my child's passion, just like my parents supported mine."
Therein, of course, lies her dilemma over her own career. Friends told the Mail this week that it was not just a case of wanting to oversee Daisy's treatment that prompted the actress to announce she was quitting last November.
After four years of commuting back and forth across the Atlantic to her home in West London, and the cottage she recently bought near Daisy's school, Joely is, they say, utterly exhausted.
After her announcement that she was leaving the series, she hinted that her daughter's health issues had not been her only motivation. "I want to be in England with Daisy, not just for the tougher stuff, but on a regular basis," she said. scroll down for more
Joely had a two-year, on-off relationship with Jamie Theakston
At the same time she gave away the pressures of being a longdistance mother to a teenager.
"I'm no longer goddess Mummy. Daisy sees the cracks and flaws," she added.
Those close to her say she felt under pressure by the Nip/Tuck producers, who guard the lucrative-franchise jealously, to reveal her daughter's illness, a subject that had up to then remained private, despite Daisy having been diagnosed at the age of one.
Insiders on the show say the producers insisted she make the statement about Daisy's health after Joely made an emotional call from a film set in Canada to tell her bosses of her decision to leave.
A source added: "Joely bitterly regrets dragging Daisy into it, but the producers were concerned that they didn't want it to appear that she was leaving for professional reasons. It doesn't look good for the show if your biggest stars are walking out."
Following her announcement, she was hastily written out of four episodes. Joely returned to Britain to spend Christmas with her daughter while she set about decorating her new country home.
But by the time the line-up for the new series was finalised this spring, Joely had quietly agreed not only to return, but to increase her workload (although a pay rise to £50,000-an-episode will have softened the blow).
In the meantime, she has been doing the rounds of the see-and-be-seen parties in Hollywood as she talks of landing a role in a major movie (her last film role of note was seven years ago, when she appeared in The Patriot alongside Mel Gibson).
Joely, it seems, panicked at the thought of finding herself on the Hollywood scrap heap. Shortly after her departure from the show, she was sighing: "It's an overcrowded market when it comes to women over 32."
Part of the problem, say friends, is that despite her good relationship with her former husband (he takes care of Daisy while she is away), she is haunted by the thought her income could dry up.
"She is very aware that she has no one to fall back on and she'd never want to take money from her mother," a friend said.
Joely has remained single since her divorce in 1995. She was devastated when, after four years of marriage, Bevan left her and became involved with the then 24-year-old artist Amy Gadney.
Joely went on to have a fling with Robbie Williams and a two-year, on-off relationship with TV presenter-turned actor Jamie Theakston.
But that foundered when he was caught by a newspaper visiting a brothel at Christmas 2001. More recently, she was seen on a series of dates with John Hensley, who is 12 years her junior and plays her teenage son in Nip/Tuck.
Her reluctance to commit to a man is understandable given her chequered romantic history. Her own parents' marriage folded when Joely was a year old, and she and her elder sister, actress Natasha, were raised by their mother.
Aged 24, Joely began an affair with Scottish businessman Archie Stirling, who as well as being more than twice her age was also married to the actress Diana Rigg.
He left his wife for Miss Richardson, but after a year he dumped Joely and returned to Miss Rigg and their daughter (his marriage, however, did not survive the affair).
Later Joely would say of his rejection of her: "I went through hell. My heart was shattered into a thousand tiny pieces."
Following the break-up from Bevan, Joely threw herself into work. She hinted earlier this year that she would go under the knife herself to prolong her career. Which, is, perhaps, only understandable given those upcoming, explicit storylines.
Why Joely Richardson looks a shadow of herself | the Daily Mail
shit she looks a mess
Yikes. Why don't these bitches EAT? And who thinks that bones protruding out of your chest looks attractive????
When you reach a certain age, you need to have a little more meat on your bones then you do when you're a teenager.
When your daughter plays "House," she pretends to be an annoying doctor with a pill-addiction and a limp.
well..she has always been REALLY unattractive..so being bony makes it even worst..and makes her look EVEN older! I remember reading years ago that she has battled an eating disorder for years..
I think it's probably a combination of stress over her child's illness, and a truly bad angle of the photo. Remember a while back we were all horrified over a photo of Cate Blanchett, but in other angles, she looked much different?
Now..what illness was/is her child suffering before..? ..she just has really harsh features in IMO..so being so thin makes it worst.
I'm sorry that her child was ill. But she could find the time to eat a goddamn sandwich.
I'm so sick of this skinny crap. Ugly. Totally ugly. Look at the cutie pie in that photo, with the curly hair, and pretty shape. And then look at Joely, like a friggin' concentration camp victim. Gross.
I can't believe she showed herself in public looking like death warmed up...She needs to order her wooden overcoat and quick...Yikes!!!
Oh my goodness, she looks awful..downright awful! I don't quite understand this very skinny stuff either.
It's creepy, worrying, and definitely not attractive.
How do people get the idea that looking near death is attractive?
Another actress getting too thin or suffering 'exhaustion' or 'working too hard'...wtc, what else is new?
The brain doesn't need blood. It just needs to be kept wet.
She does look bad. She looked great back when she was in cheesy tv-fest The Tribe but now... yikes. However I have absolutely no sympathy for her 'needing money'. Please, learn to live on everyone else's income, honey, then you can retire now.
The Gen X Eurotrash Jetsetters Club:
A place for internationally minded celebrity haterz to come together in peace and harmony
I guess her sister got all the looks.
How do these bitches get soooooooo thin and I cant lose these last 5 fucking pounds????????
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