On Thursday, February 20, British actress Julie Walters — known for her role as Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise — revealed an in interview with the BBC that she was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer in 2018.

The 69-year-old actress told host Victoria Derbyshire that when she received the initial diagnosis, her first though was that the doctors “must have made a mistake.”

The Mamma Mia! star also recalled the moment she told her husband, Grant Roffey, about what the doctor had said.

“I’ll never forget his face,” she said. “Tears came into his eyes and I thought, ‘Oh, Grant!’ So then I’m worried about him more than [the diagnosis].”

Although her close friends and family knew about the diagnosis, Julie has never spoken about it publicly until now. Although she has since gone into remission, the hard-working star revealed that the illness “completely changed” her career. The cancer made Julie rethink her retirement from acting. As fans know, Julie previously announced that her upcoming film The Secret Garden may be her “last,” but now she’s open to new roles.

“You know, something might come up. It would have to be something I really engaged with and that didn’t have a killing schedule,” she explained. “I’m not saying I’ll never act again. But I certainly don’t think I can go back to [a film that requires working] six days a week, five in the morning till seven o’clock at night.”

Julie’s illness has since inspired her to urge others to get their digestive systems checked, so they don’t have the same shocking diagnosis that she did.

“Your bowel is part of your digestive system. It’s just what digests your food and I think you just have to remember that,” the actress said. “And it’s just, you’ve got to go and get things checked.”

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