Tracey Ullman on her ever-changing characters and why she returned to TV
The actress started portraying different characters when she was 6.
November 1, 2017, 3:42 PM
• 6 min read
-- Tracey Ullman is back with new impersonations and an all-new HBO series, and while fans are singing her praises, Ullman reminds them that she’s been at this for a long, long time.
The actress said she started portraying different characters when she was 6 years old.
“I used to dance in my mother’s bedroom and put on a show for her," Ullman said in an appearance on "Popcorn With Peter Travers." "I’d be the lady next door, I’d be my teacher, all of our relatives. I would do a show.”
For years, Ullman worked alongside her husband, television producer Allan McKeown. She said after his death four years ago, she realized it was time to get busy again, and she's doing just that with “Tracey Ullman’s Show.”
“We were married 30 years and he was English too, but we got married in America. We did so much together. We thought that we were like the Desilu of London, me and Al, but he’d be terribly proud of this,” Ullman said of her TV series.
Travers pointed out that in her portrayals, Ullman extends far beyond a physical transformation; her impersonations of Dame Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, and others are uncanny, but never in a negative way.
“I don’t do it because I hate people and I want to be mean and have a go at people,” Ullman, 57, told Travers. “I really value Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Eileen Atkins. It’s what I’ve always wanted to be, a character actress 'til I’m 90. And they gave me such inspiration.”
Ullman’s impersonations are so spot on, she said a British newspaper mistakenly printed a picture of her as Judi Dench. She got a kick out of it.