One reason to admire Dame Helen Mirren, in addition to her amazing talent as an actress, is her candidness about life and the issues that matter to her — from calling out sexist interview questions to admitting she would sometimes like to be less polite.
In a new interview with AARP The Magazine, the 71-year-old actress shows off her honesty once again by getting real about aging. Like so many people, she wasn't always happy about the idea of getting older, but she now has a wonderful reason to embrace it.
"The best thing about being over 70 is being over 70," Mirren told the magazine.
"Certainly when I was 45, the idea of being 70 was like 'Arghhh!' but you only have two options in life: Die young or get old. There is nothing else. The idea of dying young when you're 25 is kind of cool — a bit romantic, like James Dean. But then you realize that life is too much fun to do that. It's fascinating and wonderful and emotional. So you just have to find a way of negotiating getting old psychologically and physically."
That's the kind of optimistic outlook we can all emulate, no matter how far along in life we are. After all, who wouldn't want to have as much fun as Helen Mirren?
It's particularly heartening to see an actress of Mirren's age speak so positively about aging, considering the unfair treatment experienced by many older women in Hollywood, not to mention the constant pressure to stay young.
Mirren has spoken out in the past about ageism in the entertainment industry, telling The Wrap last year, "It's f—-ing 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."
Maybe the best solution is to just cast Helen Mirren as James Bond. We have a feeling more a few people would buy tickets.
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