Repeat after us: Helen Mirren is fabulous. Today, the Oscar-winning actress us in the news for her applause-worthy comments on ageism in Hollywood, specifically that against ‘older’ women.
When asked by The Wrap for her reaction to the story Maggie Gyllenhaal was deemed too old at 37 to play the love interest of a 55-year-old actor, the 70-year-old Mirren said what everyone else seethingly thought: It’s fucking outrageous. It’s ridiculous. And ’twas ever thus. We all watched James Bond as he got more and more geriatric, and his girlfriends got younger and younger. It’s so annoying.”
Mirren made the comments at The Wrap’s New York Power Breakfast, a high-profile gathering of 120 women in the entertainment industry. She also spoke about how she’s constantly touted as a sex symbol, something she’s not comfortable with. “I don’t like the word sexual. There are people who are sexual, and who are less sexual. But there’s got to be another word. Sexual is so limiting,” she said.
However, she won our respect yet again, seriously it’s like one of those happy marriages where people fall in love with each other more every day, when she spoke about fear. “I’m frightened all the time, of everything, really,” she admitted, but pointed out that we need to get on with things: “The point is not to be afraid of the fact that you’re afraid. You get on with it.” She talked about how a nun during her schooling told her never to be afraid of fear. “The most dangerous thing is fear itself. That’s something I’ve held with me all my life. Don’t be foolish, but don’t be afraid of fear,” she recalled.
There’s something great about Mirren talking about these sort of feelings. In recent months, Emma Stone and Amanda Seyfried have paved the way for young women to talk openly about anxiety. We wonder if the Helen Mirren effect will lead to more conversations about combatting fear?
If you want to hear Helen Mirren being all shades of inspiring, have a watch of this video from the event.