Miriam Margolyes says she doesn’t believe in circumcision ‘because you are mutilating a child’

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Miriam Margolyes has said that she doesn’t believe in circumcision.

Speaking to The Guardian, the 82-year-old explained that she had changed many of her core beliefs in recent years and that, politically speaking, she had “moved to the left”.

“And I don’t believe in circumcision,” she added. “That’s a big thing. I only realised I didn’t like it recently. I don’t like circumcision because you are mutilating a child.”

The Harry Potter star went on to slightly change tact, adding: “I don’t think circumcision in itself is a bad thing. In fact it’s probably a good thing because we lose the problem of smegma which is a nightmare for many women.”

Margolyes explained that these are subjects she often touches on whenever she does a Cameo video, which is a service that provides personalised videos from celebrities for fans.

“In my Cameo messages, I often give instructions to young men to pull back their foreskins and give it a good wipe over because it’s very important,” she said.

“But nobody actually seems to say that anymore, so I think that’s one of the good things I’ve done in my life; to bring smegma to the forefront of people’s knowledge.”

Elsewhere, Margolyes, who is Jewish, spoke about why she still observes so many Jewish traditions.

“I had wonderful parents, and they have never let me go and I have allowed them not to let me go,” she began before crediting them for the reason why she still upholds her religious values.

“It would please them,” she said. “And I didn’t please them by being a lesbian. I didn’t give them grandchildren. They wanted the whole schmear, the traditional stuff.”

Miriam Margolyes (Getty Images)
Miriam Margolyes (Getty Images)

The actor has been with her partner, Australian academic Heather Sutherland, for 54 years and has previously admitted to cheating on her once.

“Yes, I did, and I wouldn’t do it again,” Margolyes said. “It caused huge turmoil, she says. “Don’t gamble with your happiness. Adultery is for fools.”

Her comments arrive after Margoyles featured as one of three cover stars of British Vogue’s July issue.

The interview, conducted by journalist Chris Godfrey, was accompanied by a photoshoot that shows Margolyes posing topless with her breasts obscured by Belgian buns.

Speaking about her body image in the piece, Margolyes admitted that she has struggled with insecurities, but is determined to embrace her form regardless.

“I think my face is kind and warm and open and smiley,” she said. “But I hate my body. I hate big t**s [and I have] a drooping belly, little twisted legs. I’m not thrilled with that. But you just make the best of it. You have to. You do the best you can.”

Elsewhere in the new interview, Margolyes scathingly criticised “poisonous” John Cleese.