SHE has made a career out of playing feisty northern women, but one question brings out Michelle Keegan’s bolshy side for real – “When are you going to have a baby?”
In an exclusive Sun interview, the former Corrie actress says she is fed up with “everybody’s obsession” with her becoming a mum.
Michelle — who reveals the main culprits are glossy mags and even her own friends and family — says: “It’s horrible. It’s like, ‘You’re 32. Are you not planning to have a baby yet?’ ”
The Stockport-born actress, who has been married to TV presenter Mark Wright for four years, adds: “People don’t know if we’re trying.
“They don’t know the background of what’s happening. It’s no one else’s business. In this day and age you shouldn’t ask questions like that.”
She reveals that Mark, also 32, never gets asked when he is going to be a dad, and adds: “I get so frustrated.
ROMP IN A PORTALOO
“I’m asked purely because I’m a woman. But I’m immune to it now — it’s like a reaction and as soon as I hear it I brush it off, as it’s no one else’s business.”
For the record, Michelle’s mini rant has not been prompted by my own questioning, as I value my safety . . .
But the subject of motherhood is particularly relevant just now, in view of her latest and most titillating TV role yet, as single mum Erin in new Sky One comedy series Brassic.
Erin yearns for a better life for herself and her son Tyler, away from the trouble and chaos caused by her gang of old pals, including boyfriend Dylan, in the small Lancashire town where she grew up.
Michelle’s first foray into comedy began on Thursday night, when Michelle was introduced to viewers while having sex with Dylan, played by Damien Molony.
And the X-rated scenes do not end there. In the third episode, the pair romp in a Portaloo.
Although Michelle is a veteran of sex scenes since her role in BBC1 military drama series Our Girl, a quickie in a plastic toilet was still a first.
She recalls: “I literally just met Damo and then we had a sex scene in the Portaloo.
“It was literally like, ‘Hi, nice to meet you,’ then we’re told, ‘Right guys, will you go in the Portaloo?’ It was a confined space but it sort of worked for this scene.
“It was meant to be both funny and awkward. But it’s not a big thing at all.
“As soon as it’s done, we’re like, ‘So what are you having for dinner tonight?’
“It goes back to normal that quick and no one is weird about it.”
Michelle’s male comedy co-stars have certainly taken a shine to her.
Series co-creator Joe Gilgun, who also plays troubled gang linchpin Vinnie, says: “She’s mesmerisingly beautiful. Even the gay ones like her.”
And Michelle only increased her status by drinking them under the table during a team bonding session. She says: “I only drink tequila. I can have shots and keep up with them and stay out the latest.
“Eating loads of stodge — Super Noodles — before you go out is key.”
Michelle’s reliance on “stodge” may surprise her celebrity fans on social media, who were completely in awe of her recent Instagram bikini shot — which also revealed for the first time a racy tattoo on her bikini line.
But it was radio DJ Sian Welby who summed up most of the comments, writing: “Googles how to get a body like Michelle Keegan”.
So how do you get a body like Michelle?
She says: “I never do diets, and don’t drink much alcohol other than nights out and I don’t eat bread. Food’s a positive thing and it’s meant to be enjoyed, and if you stop yourself enjoying it, that’s when you crash, so I always like picky bits.
“I graze — crisps and nuts — as well as having a big dinner.
“I also work out three or four times a week. I never used to in my twenties, but I do now, on my own. I don’t have a trainer.”
Michelle’s lads’ mag photoshoot days are well and truly over.
The only set-up shoots she poses for now are for her Instagram page — and are taken by Mark. Indeed, she reveals he took the sexy bikini snap on this page in just one go during a recent Greek holiday. She says: “It was really quick, we were in a rush. He has got no patience.
“He’s literally like, click, ‘Right, come on, let’s move on,’ and we had to go and get ready for something.”
Michelle says the snaps will act as a reminder of how well she kept herself in shape during her younger years.
‘HE KNOWS THE ANGLES’
She adds: “That picture I put up was just for me.
“I thought I’ll look back in ten years’ time and think, ‘That was an all right picture, that.’
“That’s the reason I did it. I don’t do it a lot. He knows the angles, does Mark.”
The couple are now back living together after spending a large part of the past few years on different sides of the world.
While Michelle was filming Our Girl in South Africa and Mark was in LA presenting E! chat show Extra, they did not see each other for three months.
She recalls: “Everyone was like, ‘Oh my god, how did you manage?’
“But again, because we’re so used to working separately, it was fine and we’ve got FaceTime — you can be so close to your loved ones without even being there now.”
Michelle is now set for an extended stay in the UK to make the second series of Brassic, which starts filming on Monday.
Trying to keep a straight face, she adds: “They’d better freshen up that Portaloo.”
“I wanna be Northern Woman”
MICHELLE wants to follow in the footsteps of former Doctor Who star Karen Gillan, who went off to seek her fortune in Hollywood – and ended up making millions playing Guardians Of The Galaxy superhero Nebula.
But if Marvel and DC don’t come calling, Michelle has another superhero idea up her sleeve that reflects her proud Northern roots.
She says: “Imagine if there was a Northern Girl. That would be good – I could spray gravy out of my hands. That works, that, doesn’t it? Get a writer on it now.”
Michelle divides her time between Essex, where she lives with Mark, and Manchester so she can be close to her family and close pals.
Speaking about the difference between the two areas, she said: “It’s the gravy.
“When I go to a pie and mash shop, Mark has liquor, and it’s green and awful.
“I have to ask for gravy everywhere I go. I think it’s a northern thing.”
‘Tina’s earned me my house’
LAST year’s exodus of several young actors from Coronation Street over a lack of good storylines left Michelle baffled.
The actress, who played the soap’s Tina McIntyre for six years, says: “Unlike when you’re a jobbing actor, you know when your money is coming in and luckily for me I was able to buy a house with what I earned from Corrie. I’d one million per cent recommend it.
“You’re doing so many storylines – one minute dealing with your father being killed, then working in the pub, then I’m pregnant.
“So I was doing three different storylines in one go – it’s an amazing learning platform.”