Actress Andie MacDowell may be the epitome of aging gracefully, having recently been dubbed by Vogue as a “silver-haired goddess,” but the 65-year-old star of Hallmark‘s “The Way Home” says she had many years of “struggling” as she aged.
In an interview with People magazine on May 25, 2023, MacDowell said she thinks the ages of 40 to 60 can be particularly challenging for women, especially those in the entertainment industry, just as they were for her. She blames an unfair double standard on aging and wants to “borrow from the boys,” she said.
“Men are seen as really sexy when they start to get wrinkles,” MacDowell explained. “I like all the terms we use for older men. I want to hold onto those terms. I want to be debonair. Why not? What a beautiful term.”
Though she’s comfortable in her skin and with her age today, MacDowell revealed it wasn’t always that way, and said women have been “brainwashed” into thinking they must hide, avoid, and feel ashamed of getting older. MacDowell hopes to change that.
Andie MacDowell Wants to Shift How People Think About Aging
“We’ve been brainwashed, and it’s a psychological thing that we’ve bought into because we’ve been fed it for so long,” MacDowell told People. “We don’t allow ourselves to feel good about ourselves and we even perceive (older men) as sexy, because we’ve been taught this.”
But the actress, who became a first-time grandma in 2022 according to Entertainment Tonight, said that after many challenging years that were “hard to navigate,” she feels so much better about herself and her future.
She said, “I was struggling and I’m much more comfortable with where I am right now. I love being an older woman. I really enjoy it. And it doesn’t feel less sexy.”
MacDowell continued, “There is this time period between 40 and 60 that I think women in the business can struggle because they don’t know what to do. They’ve been seen as one way, but they’re not really seen as what I am now.”
In a March 2023 interview with journalist Katie Couric, MacDowell said she now sees getting old as a good thing.
She explained, “Every once in a while, I’ll say to someone, ‘I’m old,’ and they’ll say, ‘No, you’re not!’ Like it’s some horrible thing to say. And I’ll say to them, ‘But what if I say I’m young? Don’t have a problem with that, do you?’ The truth of the matter is, I’m old and that’s OK. That’s what I really want people to think about. Why is there so much shame attached to getting older?”
MacDowell shared that shortly after she turned 40, she was asked by a journalist, “How does it feel to get older and lose your beauty?”
That question, she said, crystallized for her the long-held belief, in Hollywood especially, that aging is not beautiful and is why so many women in the industry do all they can to hide their age. One of the ways MacDowell eventually embraced hers was by letting her hair go grey — a rare move in Hollywood — while quarantining during the COVID pandemic.
“As it was growing out, my eyes popped, the color of them looked a little different. I liked the way my skin looked better,” MacDowell told Couric. “And there was a feeling, it empowered me more. I felt more powerful and I felt more genuine and I felt more myself.”
Andie MacDowell Thinks Embracing Her Age Has Helped Her Get Acting Roles
MacDowell told People that embracing rather than hiding her age has actually been a boon for her acting career.
“I feel like my career is actually doing really well right now because I’ve dove into being an older woman and accepted it,” she said, adding that she loves landing “complex older woman” roles, including the bipolar mother in Netflix’s hit series “Maid” and the family matriarch in Hallmark’s “The Way Home.”
“I don’t need to pretend that I’m young anymore because I’m not young, obviously,” she said.
But she’s well aware that there’s lots of room for growth, and she plans to keep fighting for a seat at the table in an industry that favors youth.
She said, “I just think that’s going to help me, and you have to dig in and make your characters more complex too. You have to struggle and fight with people to make them. You have to fight for what you know. I fight for what I know as an older woman, what I know to be true.”
On “The Way Home,” which has been renewed for a second season, she loves working and bonding with a multigenerational cast, she told Next Avenue in December.
“I’m working with a bunch of young people now, and I think particularly the older you get, there’s a connection and a curiosity about each other because you’re at different ends of the spectrum,” she said. “If you’re talking about people in their 20s, I think they want to connect and understand you and see who you are. I think the more authentic I am with my age, the more interested they are.”
Moving forward, she told the outlet, she has big goals for the entertainment industry when it comes to embracing aging for all.
“I would like to see more acting roles that show women aging,” she said. “I would like to visually see it in advertising, in films, and in television. Men get to age, and women need to be able to age as well. That’s it in a nutshell.”