Michelle Keegan has branded speculation that her marriage was under pressure while she spent time away from home filming as “ridiculous”.
The Brassic actress and husband Mark Wright, both 33, spent long periods apart while Keegan filmed Our Girl in South Africa.
She told Cosmopolitan: “If you go away for work, it’s seen as a negative and not a positive. I just don’t understand that and find it hard.
“You’re trying to carve yourself a career and people say you shouldn’t be doing it because it impacts your marriage. It’s ridiculous…
“A few years ago it would have bothered me more than it does now.”
She criticised double standards for men and women around starting a family, saying “I know for a fact… nobody would ask” Wright about baby plans.
Keegan is enjoying life in lockdown, plotting a comedy-drama and mini-series.
“I had the idea for one of them a few years ago and this time has helped me get my ideas down on paper,” she told the magazine.
And she added: “I’m taking my dogs for daily walks, I’ve been doing a jigsaw a week and I’ve taken up cycling on a proper road bike. We go out three times a week and do 11 miles.”
She said it was tough having to deal with fame so quickly after landing the role of Tina McIntyre on Coronation Street because “I let a lot of negative comments get to me”.
And she said she regretted being on the cover of a lads’ mag.
“I remember feeling very shy because I was really young… Now that I’m older, I realise that it is OK to say no to something that you don’t feel 100% happy with.”
But she added: “It was a different time back then. Everyone did it at that time.”
The August issue of Cosmopolitan is on sale from July 2.