Emily Mortimer still called ‘hollow bones’ years after minor 30 Rock role

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Emily Mortimer has revealed she is unable to shake off a minor cameo role she had in US TV series 30 Rock more than a decade ago.

The British actress, who has starred in TV drama The Newsroom and films including Mary Poppins Returns, Match Point and Hugo, said that fans are more likely to remember her character in the hit comedy drama, in which she appeared in just three episodes in 2007.

Mortimer, 47, played Phoebe, the brief love interest of Alec Baldwin’s character Jack Donaghy who claimed she had a condition called Avian Bird Syndrome, leaving her with brittle bones.

She told the PA news agency: “It’s interesting the things that have stayed.

“I did this tiny character arc in 30 Rock – I played a character that had hollow bones. That has really stuck.

“I’ve had two people this morning say to me ‘the hollow bones’.”

Mortimer said that she also gets recognised for her role in 2005 film Match Point, in which she starred opposite Scarlett Johansson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and her Sky Living comedy series Doll And Em.

She added: “And then (the film) Lovely And Amazing. I don’t know if that was more of a big deal in America than it was here but that was one that’s stayed. It’s funny, you don’t really realise until years later the ones that stick around.”

Having made her acting debut 25 years ago, Mortimer said that she now feels “really much more hopeful” about opportunities for women in the industry.

Emily Mortimer made her acting debut 25 years ago (Isabel Infantes/PA)

However, she said that things have not yet changed enough, and that she looks forward to the day that an actress does not have to look “a certain way” to be deemed sexy.

She said: “There’s something about sexuality and women and that if you look a certain way you are attractive, and if you don’t, you’re not.

“That needs to change and I think it is gradually, but it’s not changing as much as everything else.

“In film, I want to see women that don’t look a certain way being treated as sexy, vibrant, vital women, and that that’s going to feel so liberating.”

Mortimer is next starring in the film Good Posture, which was written and directed by her best friend and Doll And Em co-star Dolly Wells in her directorial feature debut.

Set in Brooklyn, Mortimer plays reclusive author Julia who is suddenly tasked with looking after Lilian, a young woman who has just gone through a break-up while her father spends time in Paris with his girlfriend.

Lilian, played by The Meyerowitz Stories star Grace Van Patten, initially has a strained relationship with Julia – who she decides to make a documentary on to impress her ex-boyfriend – before they embark on a surprising inter-generational relationship.

On characters of Julia and Lilian both having been defined by men, Mortimer said: “I really related to a lot of that, absolutely.

“Dolly was making a really interesting point with that, that you spend your life seeking the approval of men, and then you suddenly realise that actually you could get a quite exciting and fulfilling relationship from being friends with another woman, and that that might be more interesting, actually.”

Good Posture is in cinemas from Friday, October 4