What is it about the sexy older woman we love so much? Is it because we believe that with all those years of experience they must hold the magical key to a wardrobe of sexual Narnia? Or is it a relief that, unlike their younger counterparts, they’re not going to send us texts with smiley faces and LOLs?
Ever since Dustin Hoffman had his nuts fiddled with by a sexy-fur-and-stockings-wearing Mrs Robinson in the 1967 film The Graduate (which these pictures are an homage to) it seems we can’t get enough of the MILFs of this world. Which is why Will McKenzie’s mum from C4’s The Inbetweeners, played by 40-year-old Belinda Stewart-Wilson, has become such a cult hero and a not-so-secret lust object.
“I think the fascination comes from the belief they know something you don’t,” says Stewart-Wilson. “I think with The Inbetweeners it’s all in the boys’ imaginations, they’re so rude about her. She’s not really a prostitute or a stripper, but in their heads she’s all of those things. She’s become incredibly popular by doing very little. I went to the read-through for the third series and I was literally blushing all the way through from what they were saying about me. It’s filthy, but that’s why it’s popular.”
For the past five years the Londoner has been the go-to girl if you’re casting a comedy sketch show or series, having appeared in the likes of Look Around You, The Peter Serafinowicz Show, The IT Crowd, The Armstrong And Miller Show (she’s seperated from comedian/actor Ben Miller) and is next starring in Charlie Booker’s new TV series.
“The favourite character I’ve played was in Look Around You. She was the inventor of a computer called the Petticoat 5; it was pink, made for women by women. You could file your nails on the space bar and press a button and it would release perfume or a mirror would pop up. Comedy is my choice as it’s what I’ve always enjoyed doing,” she says. “I used to put on sketch shows at boarding school when I was eight. I’m not sure about the material, but it did used to get a laugh.” Perhaps it had something to do with the way she looked when she was younger.
“I was never very good looking – I had my jaw pulled forward, I had a squint and a patch over one eye to straighten it up – so I thought I’d make people laugh to get them on my side. I thought it was quite cool though, as I was sure I looked like a pirate.” She also has friends in high places, as her father, who was in the army when she was growing up, held the position of equerry to the Queen.“It sounds weird but it seemed perfectly normal at the time. I met her a few times as well as Prince Charles. The royal family are very good at making you feel at ease, totally relaxed and like you’re the most important person in the room. It’s an amazing knack, I don’t know how they do it.”
The Inbetweeners boxset of series 1-3 is out now
Words: Lucy Hancock