Alex's American experience

British actress Alex Kingston said she felt like the "butchest" woman in Los Angeles after her move to the United States, due to its "fascism of beauty and physicality".

In a weekend magazine interview, Kingston, who plays Dr Elizabeth Corday in medical drama series ER, said she loathed California when she first arrived.

"I thought it was an appalling place. Then I went through a period of feeling amused by it. Now it's sort of both.

"Californians don't have that marvellous British cynicism, but then the British can be so patronising at times. If you actually enter into the world of California, it can be quite nice," she said.

Kingston, who was born in Epsom, Surrey, also talks about her experiences of IVF to have her daughter Salome with second husband Florian Haertel.

"I'd wanted a baby for a long time, even prior to my current marriage, but I had difficulties, I couldn't conceive.

"In my third year of ER, that's when I thought: Okay, I'd really like to have a child but, if I do, will the producers be cross?" she said.

The actress, whose relationship with Ralph Fiennes ended after 12 years together and two years of marriage, said her body language changed when she returned to England now and she felt very self-conscious.

"It's sad really. And the weather hasn't been good. And London feels so jam packed, so claustrophobic.

"In fact, if you come from a country that's so big - big land, big space, big skies, it's

horrific," she said.

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