With her petite frame and natural prettiness, Anna Friel has been blessed with a youthfulness that many a star would give their right arm for.
At 44, the actress – who is back on screens as ITV’s lovably deranged detective Marcella – doesn’t look much different to the 17 year old ingenue who rose to fame on Brookside in the ’90s.
But like most people, she feels the pressure to keep time on her side.
”We’re living longer and therefore having to look younger for a longer amount of time,” she recently told You magazine.
“But there comes a point when you just have to accept: ‘Im 44, not 34. I do feel the pressure of people saying: ‘Oh look, she’ll never age.’ Of course I will. I’m not Benjamin Button. You just do it in the best way you can.’”
One of her go-to treatments is the gruesome-looking vampire facelift, made famous by Kim Kardashian.
The treatment involves drawing blood and injecting it back into the face using tiny needles on a wheel, but according to Anna, it’s not as gory as it sounds.
‘It’s not a big deal. It’s been done for years. It just sounds extreme because of the word ‘vampire’. Needles are stuck in your face. They draw blood which is processed and used to treat your skin.
“It’s a hugely used procedure that people do with sports injuries. They take the plasma and whip it round and it just rejuvenates.”
In the past, the Rochdale-born actress said she feared being judged over her use of the procedure, admitting she didn’t want to ‘come off like Frankenstein’s sister’.
But that was before the era of Brazilian butt lifts, facelifts with string and all manner of painful processes that are offered to reverse the signs of ageing.
As for turning to actual surgery, when Anna was 31 and living in Los Angeles, she boldly confessed that ‘when the time comes’ she will do whatever she wants to feel good.
“I know I will definitely have a discreet nip and tuck when the time comes. Count me in – I am 100 per cent having it when I need it!” she told Grazia magazine.
“If you go overboard you can look scary, but the right procedure at the right time can take years off you.
“This is what LA does for you! You learn how to make the best of yourself – and it works.
“In England people think you’re dead vain if you do more than shave your legs. Now I’m working everything. I look at how these women take care of themselves to look their best.”
However, Anna – who is a single mum to Gracie, 15 – had gone to great lengths to make sure her daughter realises that the beauty of the A-list comes from filters, good lighting and personal trainers and is not the norm.
As for whether she would trade her looks for those of her younger self, she believes the peace of mind that comes with age far outweighs not having any wrinkles.
“I would take my 40-something confidence, wisdom and knowledge over a perfect 18-year-old body any day,” she told You magazine.
“You have trepidation about growing older – mine was because I loved my 30s. But I’m all right with it. I really do believe you’re as old as you feel.”