Can a childless actress portray a mother?

British Actress Anne Reid was quoted recently in the Telegraph as saying that childless actresses cannot portray mothers because they don’t really know what it’s like. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/8279466/Actresses-without-children-cant-play-mothers.html)What do you think? Can we not use what we have seen and experienced in our lives to imagine what it’s like to be a mom? Should we flip it and say that women who have children cannot play characters who are childless–or childfree?

I wonder about this as a writer, too. Can I really write accurately about what it’s like to give birth and to be a parent when I have not experienced these things for myself? But writers write about a lot of things that they haven’t personally experienced, right?

What do you think?