Frances Barber 'starved herself' to make it in  Hollywood

Frances Barber 'starved herself' to make it in Hollywood

February 9, 2020

Frances Barber, 62, reveals she ‘starved herself’ to make it in ‘brutal’ Hollywood film castings – after taking diet advice from pal Liz Hurley

  • Frances Barber, 62, says she tried to build her US film career by moving to LA
  • Claims she decided to lose stone-and-a-half after chatting weight with Liz Hurley
  • As a UK size 12, she says she was ‘twice the size’ of every actress at castings 
  • Claims she asked for advice from Liz Hurley who said she ‘starved’ to lose weight 

British actor Frances Barber has revealed that she ‘starved herself’ while trying to make it big in Hollywood five years ago – after she discussed how best to lose weight with her friend Liz Hurley.

The 62-year-old Wolverhampton-born actress claims she ‘stopped eating’ after making the move to LA, which she hoped would boost her career. 

However, despite shedding a stone-and-a-half, Barber says she remained ‘twice the size’ of every other woman at ‘brutal’ castings, despite only being a size 12. 

She told how she dropped the weight after asking close pal Liz, 54, for her advice on slimming down after the UK star had lost weight ‘very rapidly’ a few years before.  

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Actor Frances Barber (pictured), 62, claimed she ‘starved herself’ after moving to Los Angeles five years ago after she was determined to fit in at ‘brutal’ film castings

Barber says her close pal Liz Hurley (pictured) told Barber that she had ‘starved’ herself after being quizzed on how she had lost weight ‘very rapidly’ a few years before 

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live, Barber said: ‘I literally stopped eating and not in a healthy way.

‘Elizabeth is an old friend of mine and lost weight very rapidly a few years ago. I asked her how she did it and she said ‘I just starved. And that’s what I did, I lost a stone-and-a-half.’ 

The stage star went on to explain that ‘it got to her’ that she was the ‘biggest person there’ at castings and she ended up maintaining her low weight until she returned to the UK two years ago. 

She told: ‘It was really brutal but I was going to castings and I was the biggest person there, a size 12.

‘I was twice the size of everybody else. It got to me. I came back two years ago and everyone said I looked amazing – for about 10 months.’ 

Barber said she was told she looked ‘wonderful’ after returning to the UK two years ago

Frances met Hurley when the pair starred together in Channel 4 show ‘Orchid House’ in the early 1990s. Pictured,  Liz ( far left) as Natalie, Kate Buffery (centre) as Stella and Frances (far right) as Joan

Frances met Hurley when the pair starred together in Channel 4 show ‘Orchid House’ in the early 1990s. 

Hurley has a long history of bizarre diets and after giving birth to son Damian in 2002, she famously holed up at Elton John’s house, eating nothing but oatcakes until she lost all of her baby weight. 

Pre-pregnancy, she indulged in a watercress-soup diet, which claims to help people lose 10lbs in seven days.

Hurley divulged some details of her dramatic diet on her Twitter page in 2010, following a holiday on a yacht in the South of France. 

She told her morning routine consists of mugs of hot water, an occasional espresso followed by a mid-morning snack of oatcakes.

The star has a long history of bizarre diets including only eating one meal-a-day and once drinking up to six cups of watercress soup every day to keep the pounds off 

She wrote: ‘My diet survived the onslaught of phenomenal vacation food – doctors disagree, but I swear by almost nothing for breakfast for adults.

‘Mugs of hot water first thing, maybe an espresso and a few oatcakes mid morning.’

Earlier she had tweeted: ‘Another workout in the gym with the Australian and an awful lot of hot water. Sick of it now.’ 

Hurley famously revealed in 2005 that she was down to just one meal-a-day whilst trying to lose her baby fat, with the occasional snack of six raisins or a banana. 

After giving birth to son Damian (pictured) in 2002, Elizabeth famously holed up in Elton John’s house, eating nothing but oatcakes until she lost all her baby weight

‘Eating very little breakfast, not too much more for lunch,’ she said. ‘Then only tiny little snacks in the day. But really boring snacks like a banana or six raisins. The only meal I have is dinner.’ 

‘I’m on a good old-fashioned low-calorie diet – I’m going to bed hungry,’ she admitted. 

Hurley said the regime had enabled her to shed almost four stone two years after having Damian, although she admitted it had not been an altogether enjoyable experience. 

‘It’s horrible if you have to lose a lot of weight,’ she said.

‘I remember thinking I had done so well and thinking ‘I look so thin again’ – and when I weighed myself I was still 25lb overweight. That was a really depressing moment.’

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