The Mancunian actress has a brand new fashion range - and trust us, you're going to want every. Single. Item.
Interviewing Michelle Keegan is always a surprising experience. We forget her Mancunian drawl and wicked cackle – what can we say? We make Michelle laugh. Today, we’re sitting down with her in Kuala Lumpur to discuss her first fashion collection with Very, which features sequinned maxis, slick night out pieces and wearable everyday favourites. The 30-year-old has even expanded her design skills to include PJs, fitness gear and home accessories, all styled on her own pad. Basically, the MK lifestyle starts here!
But with hubby Mark Wright moving to LA to present TV show Extra, a backlash after her recent birthday celebrations (she likes a drink, shocker) and with filming for Our Girl running until December – how on earth is she fitting it all in?
Hi Michelle, how are you doing?
I’m a bit tired. I still haven’t got over my jet lag. I started work straight away, so I haven’t adapted yet.
Are you enjoying filming the third season of Our Girl in Kuala Lumpur?
Yes, it’s so exciting!
Congratulations on the new collection – it looks very sophisticated…
It was just a natural shift. I did this collection based very much on my own style and what I like to wear, and I think that shines through.
Happy Birthday for last month!
Thanks, I hear your 30s are the best.
Do you think you dress differently now you’re a bit older?
I don’t think that turning 30 has changed my style. These days I know what suits my body shape and what I feel most confident in. I tend not to follow trends, I know how to work it for me.
Was it good working with Very?
Yeah. I’ve done so much with them, I did eight shoots in two weeks. Then I just had my first weekend off in Kuala Lumpur and I did two shoots – one on Saturday and then Sunday. You know me, I love my hard work, but when I have those proper days off, I’m going to relax. It makes me appreciate them more.
What are your favourite pieces from the collection?
I love the beaded sequin gown [£250]. It has a low back and is very glamorous. I could see myself wearing it on the red carpet.
What would you wear on a date night with Mark?
I have some cute skater dresses that I’d wear with ankle boots.
Obviously, you’ve been filming in army uniform all year for the show, have you enjoyed dressing up more when you’ve had the chance?
In August, I celebrated my 30th with a huge night out – I don’t care what people say, it was so much fun. Mark’s brother got engaged while I was away and then we had a huge family party, so I was able to get dressed up for that as well. We had such a good time.
You missed fashion week…
Yeah, and I love it. I’ve got the next one in my diary because I’ve been filming for the past two seasons, so I haven’t been able to go.
Who do you look to for a little fashion inspiration?
Emily Ratajkowski. I follow her and she looks amazing for the red carpet, or even just casual. She’s effortlessly sexy. But I look a lot to my friends. I’d love to go on a night out with them each wearing a key piece from the collection.
Do your mates steal your clothes from your wardrobe when you’re away?
My cousin lives in Essex and she’s always round at mine because she’s got a key. So she always texts me saying: ‘Can I borrow this? Can I borrow that?’ Then I see her wearing it on Instagram. To be fair, she rocks it better than me.
Nightmare! So we’ve talked before about walking the red carpet, do you still find it stressful?
I always feel a bit nervous, I don’t think that will ever leave me. People are shouting your name, taking your photo and it’s all for people to give their opinion on how you look. You’re putting yourself on show for opinions and that’s hard.
But you’ve been in the industry a long time. Is it any easier now?
One million per cent. If I see a negative comment now, it won’t affect me the way that it used to. I think everyone’s entitled to their opinions. I might not agree with how they put them across, but I won’t hold on to negativity.
How do you make yourself feel better on an off day?
I go to the gym. I force myself to go, even if it’s really early in the morning and it’s only like half an hour. It wakes me up, gets the endorphins going and makes me feel so much better. Something that cinches in at the waist but doesn’t feel tight. Jeans and a nice shirt, maybe.
You were recently voted as having the body that most women want. Does that add any pressure?
Erm, no not really. I’m not an avid gym-goer. I don’t diet every day of my life. I always believe in moderation. I don’t believe in fad diets, I won’t starve myself. If I want a treat, I’m having it. It’s a healthier mindset to live by.
You’re also going to be doing homeware and activewear?
The sleepwear is incredible. I didn’t want to take it off when I was doing the shoot. I love loungewear. Even when it comes to homeware, I’ve always got something in my mind that I want but can’t find. So doing this is unbelievable.
Is it based on your home style?
Yeah, a bit. A lot of soft furnishings and textures, but not massively colourful. I like everything quite neutral with beiges and mink, greys and metallics. It’s all quite luxury with throws and big cushions. Cosy, y’know? i have about 20 cushions on my bed, that’s just me!
Amazing. So apart from adding to your cushion collection, what’s next for you?
I don’t finish filming until the beginning of December. Mark’s in America so I’ll go out and meet him.
Congrats on Mark’s new job, it’s incredible news for him!
Yeah, it is, thank you!
Is it going to change any of your plans for next year?
No. Actually, I’m planning to have a break. I’m going to have a couple of months off.
Do you ever find it difficult to plan a normal life?
Yeah, you just can’t. Even when I had two weeks off from shooting, I still had work every day – you can’t not fit it in. It’s not difficult because I know it won’t last forever. I feel I’m in a very lucky position.
Are you going to have a holiday?
I’ve got a week off when I get [to America] so we’re planning to jet off and have some downtime, which will be lovely. All I want to do is go to the beach, have a Pina Colada and do a word search [laughs] – that’s all I want, it is my dream!
Michelle Keegan at Very.co.uk, available now