The Hollywood Beauty: Part 2

7 Nov

By Littlebells

In Part 1 of The Hollywood Beauty, we discussed how Hollywood defines beauty and the use of Photoshop to enhance and sometimes, completely alter one’s appearance to make them more “appealing”.  As long as you are considered beautiful, you will be successful in all your relationships and career.  Everyone will want to be your friend! Part 2 will discuss aging in Hollywood and how it can be a curse or a blessing to a career as an actor.  Also, we will discuss whether it is age or talent that brings longevity.

The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven’t changed in 70 or 80 years. Your body changes, but you don’t change at all. –Doris Lessing

Q: What do these famous movie stars have in common?

Susan Sarandon—age 65

Daniel Day-Lewis—age 54 

Meryl Streep—age 62 

 Jeff Bridges—age 62  

A: All have successful careers that span (collectively) an average of 37 years, despite aging.  They have also chosen not to let age determine their success on screen. These stars have also let mother Nature take her course.*

Aging in Hollywood seems to be one of those things where one would rather try every “fountain of youth” product known to man or have their eyebrows meet their hairline rather than accept what Mother Nature has planned.  Necks get wrinkled, the body begins to sag, hair thins and grays, and crows look like they had a dance party on your lovely face. 

Age to me means nothing. I can’t get old; I’m working. I was old when I was twenty-one and out of work. As long as you’re working, you stay young. When I’m in front of an audience, all that love and vitality sweeps over me and I forget my age.  –George Burns

At the glorious age of 65, Susan Sarandon has 4 films already in post-production for 2012, plus 4 other films either in pre-production or currently being filmed.[1]  When asked to be a part of Revlon Cosmetics, she said,

“When they asked me this time, my friends said, ‘Hey, it would be great for women over 30 to see someone their age who hasn’t been altered drastically by cosmetic surgery and is still accepted as a standard of beauty.'”[2]

 Jeff Bridges has had some very successful films that didn’t occur until after the age of 40: The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Fisher King, The Big Lewbowski, Crazy Heart, and True Grit.[3]  Other actors with incredibly busy careers include Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Vanessa Redgrave. 

Most leading roles for women seem to be between the age of 25 and 40.  However, Hollywood does seem to be making some compromise creating older roles for such films as Something’s Gotta Give, It’s Complicated, The Station, and Julia & Julia.[4]

Do audiences want to see more leading roles played by a more mature in years actor?  Are there more male roles in the 50 + years category?  Do careers crumble because of age?  Or is their longevity in talent?

Also see: Hollywood Beauty: Part 1

75 Responses to “The Hollywood Beauty: Part 2”

  1. Parisienne November 8, 2011 at 1:43 PM #


    Awesome article! IMO, these actors have taken care of themselves at least physically maybe by working out or eating healthy, etc. because they know that their body is their instrument. Also everyone of the people you mentioned can actually act and make a film marketable. So i don’t really think their age has anything to do with it. Really they are still marketable and that’s whats sells a film. IMO

    • littlebells November 8, 2011 at 2:29 PM #

      Thank you Paris!

      I have heard rumors that Dench and Mirren may have had a little bit of work done on their eyes and neck, but regardless, they dont have bug eyes or a permanent smile. They look refreshed and still their age. I have always admired Sarandon’s style. I look at her and think how wonderful aging can be.

      And yes I too agree it is their talent that has helped give them such long careers.

    • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:09 PM #

      Great post Paris. ITA.

  2. Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 6:54 PM #

    Thought you might like to take a peek at a few of the pages on this site:

    personally I think the younger one begins with this stuff, the worst they look as they age. They can’t age properly.

  3. Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:08 PM #

    Hi LB-

    I’m here excellent article.

    • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:11 PM #

      Hi OB!

      Thank you. I’ve been thinking of other actors I really enjoy and who haven’t used any surgery or if they have it’s very minor.

      • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:18 PM #

        The other actors I know who’ve not had any work done are Angela Bassett and Denzel Washington.

        • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:19 PM #

          Yes! I think Angela is beautiful. She takes excellent care of herself. I am jealous of those of the African American skin type because they age far better than I ever will.

          • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:28 PM #

            Well African Americans age differently.

            • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:31 PM #


  4. Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:14 PM #


    Do u think plastic surgery for women in HW has reduced or multiplied in the last decade?

    • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:18 PM #

      multiplied! And from my observations, it is the younger ones, starting in their teens, that are doing it. Don’t get me wrong, I can see one fixing a bump on the nose, pinning back Dumbo ears, or doing something minimal like that. But lip injections, botox…STOP!!! Ya’ll look like circus freaks! Sorry, but it’s true. It’s not natural! I think great plastic surgeons A) know how to make any work done look natural and B) know when to say, “No, I’m not doing that.”

      • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:23 PM #

        ITA when it looks unatural it shows. For example Megan Fox? What happened?

        • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:27 PM #

          Who do you think is pressuring these young adults? Do you think they are putting pressure on themselves?

          • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:43 PM #

            I think actors who are younger get fed the line they’re only marketability is their sex appeal. So many young female actors choose to work on that than work on their craft or for being known for something other than eye candy.

            Both Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Robert Redford were initially sold as eye candy but continued to work on their craft to change that perception.

  5. Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:15 PM #

    I love Christopher Plummer. He has aged exceptionally well. I don’t know what or if he has had any “work” done, but regardless, he looks wonderful. He has had a steady career.

    • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:19 PM #

      How about Harrison Ford? or Liam Neeson?

      • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:21 PM #

        Yes, oh my goodness, there is quite a handful of properly aging actors and actresses.

        Some that should have just let nature takes its course are Meg Ryan and Melanie Griffith.

        • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:27 PM #

          I know that’s so sad……..I think they came around when large lips and botox was the answer for everything. I mean actors ate it in their cereal. Just kidding!! Why do female caucasion actors need large lips who don’t naturally have them?

          • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:30 PM #

            Honestly, I have absolutely no clue. I think they are hideous. Never saw the appeal. To look more sexy? Kisseable? Urgh. Would not want to kiss those. Whoaaaa…

            • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:36 PM #

              Well the ones that look like sausages are plastered on their lips are the worst. I’ve been told large lips makes women look younger.

              • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:40 PM #

                Um…I’m gonna have to disagree. Hardcore style! HAHAHA!

                • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:52 PM #

                  the looking younger bit.

                  • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:58 PM #

                    Ahh! Gotcha.LOL!!

  6. Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:24 PM #

    Liam Neeson, since turning 50, has at least 20 films that have either been completed, in post production, filming, or pre-production. In ten years!!!! The man is rockin it!

  7. Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:28 PM #


    What is your first impression when you see someone over the age of 50 on the big screen who hasn’t had any work done?

    • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:34 PM #

      Here’s where I’m different than most people I guess? I love it! Why? They have alot of fun stuff happening. I have taken countless figure drawing classes and prefer nude models who are not tone and muscular. The models who have less than perfect bodies are the most fascinating and interesting to draw. I can literally draw a fit muscular nude bodie in my sleep!! LOL!! However, it’s rare to get an overweight or person over sixty to pose nude.

      • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:42 PM #

        I’m with you!!! My first thought is, “Wow! They look the part they are playing!” Followed by, “they really don’t give a *bleep* about what Hollywood thinks and have some amazing self-esteem.”

        I guarantee if I tried making it in Hollywood I would be told to change this, that and the other and with that I would say, “Adieu!”

        • ozzie20 November 8, 2011 at 7:45 PM #

          This will probably sound odd but I love crow’s feet lines! It indicates that the person smiles alot, correct?

          • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:51 PM #

            *high-five* which leads me to this:


            I found this truly inspiring and it helped me make a decision on a topic I will discuss in my next comment.

            • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:57 PM #

              I love this! Great video…I think she looks better now than when she was younger.

              • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 8:07 PM #

                Ok, so this is what I found out: in 2010, the projection for hair care was $42.5 BILLION !!!!

                Yeah, I was floored. Still picking myself up.

                So it made me realize that the majority of actresses we see, and I’m including 20 and 30 somethings, are covering all their gray! I get it. I understand, but at some point, I think they should lay off the hair chemicals.

                So after this video, which I loved as well, I made a decision at 34 to stop coloring my hair. I have a lot of gray and keep coloring it. It’s going to take a long time to come in, but I want to set a positive example for my family and those around me that one can still be successful, confident, happy, and sexy with gray hair!!! My hubs is on board and so is my mom.

                She has colored her hair all her life and her hair is very thin and brittle. My grandma never colored her hair and she died with a thick mane.

                • Open Book November 9, 2011 at 10:23 AM #

                  Love it LB!! U know I love people with premature gray. When I was growing up a friend of my moms looked to be in her twenties had silver hair and she was strikingly beautiful. From then on I said when I get gray hair I’m keeping it. LOL!! Unfortunately, my mother did not get gray hair until her late fifties and never wore make-up until then. For me I think women and men who embrace their real age look younger than someone trying to cover it up. IMO!! .

              • ozzie20 November 8, 2011 at 8:10 PM #

                I’ve seen her before and think she’s stunning!

  8. ozzie20 November 8, 2011 at 7:34 PM #

    Hi all!

    Has Viggo Mortensen been mentioned? He’s 53. Then there’s my older man crush, Christoph Waltz. He’s 55. 🙂

    • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:38 PM #

      Ahhh! Ozzie u are soooooo right. I love Viggo and Chris Waltz

    • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:38 PM #

      NO! But I’m glad you mentioned both of them. I didn’t want to clutter the article with a huge list. 🙂

      Viggo’s career started in 1984, but it was just as he was turning 40 that his career really took off. I loved him in LOR and The Road.

      • ozzie20 November 8, 2011 at 7:41 PM #

        You could of knocked me over with a feather when I found out Viggo’s age, lol!

        • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:47 PM #

          How about Michele Pfeiffer and Jamie Lee Curtis?

          • ozzie20 November 8, 2011 at 7:53 PM #

            Oh yes, them too! Has Sigourney Weaver had any plastic surgery? I think she’s beautiful too.

            • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 8:13 PM #

              I do not believe so. She doesn’t look it.

  9. Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:46 PM #


    In response to your post about young people, sex appeal, and their craft, I have a question for both you and Ozzie:

    Do you think more actors and actresses who haven’t had work done have a better chance of a longer lasting career?

    • ozzie20 November 8, 2011 at 7:48 PM #

      I think so. If you get too much plastic surgery it can be a hindrance rather than a help.

    • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 7:51 PM #

      I think actors who focus on choosing roles more age appropriate and challenging get alot more respect from me. I hate to see really old men with twenty year olds still trying to play eye candy. It just makes me cringe!!!

      • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 7:57 PM #

        Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems that there are filmmakers who want natural looking. I remember rumors of auditions for period pieces where they wanted ladies with natural breasts not implants.

        Is looking natural on camera increasing?

        • Open Book November 8, 2011 at 8:01 PM #

          Yes, and No! I mean it depends on the material. Some actors looks are made for period films. While others are better suited for action and or fantasy. Does that make sense?

          • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM #

            Give me an example for action, please. 🙂

            • ozzie20 November 8, 2011 at 8:13 PM #

              I heard Pirates of the Carribean where looking for women with natural breasts.

              • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 8:14 PM #

                That’s what it was!!! thanks 🙂

                • comic relief November 8, 2011 at 8:26 PM #


            • Open Book November 9, 2011 at 10:13 AM #


              One good example is Chris Hemsworth who played Thor andTom Hiddleston who played Loki inThor. Tom has a great look for period films who also appeared in Midnight in Paris as F. Scott Fitzgerald. Where as Chris Hemsworth and Henry Cavill have great looks for action films mainly because of their athlecticism. Does makes sense? If not I can expand on this a little more.

              • comic relief November 10, 2011 at 3:57 PM #

                I agree with your assessment Open book, YET I am really EXCITED with actresses (and actors) who are too artistically powerful to be placed in a box based on their modified or actual looks (regardless of how perfect they may actually be). Less than an attractive appearance can be a great method to either craft unique characters or make profound dramatic statements.

                Renée Zellweger:

                Johnny Depp:

                Charlize Theron:

                Nicole Kidman:

                • comic relief November 10, 2011 at 3:58 PM #

                  Actually I think the ability to morph into other characters is one of the most astonishing aspects of the field of acting.

  10. Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 8:01 PM #

    Are there any actors you would like to see age as intended? For example, I think Carrie Mulligan will age lovely.

    Also, when should an older actor/actress be considered for a role as opposed to a younger actor/actress using makeup and CGI?

    What are your thoughts on using two different actors as opposed to one when it comes to a lifespan in a film (i.e. Brad Pitt in Benjamin Button)?

  11. Open Book November 8, 2011 at 8:03 PM #


    I’m sorry I have to go now but I will return and answer any Q u have. Wonderful article and conclusion on this topic.

    Goodnight All!

    • comic relief November 8, 2011 at 8:11 PM #

      Great topic LB. Wow didn’t mean to miss you, OB.

      • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 8:16 PM #

        Bye OB!

        Hi CR! Will you be around for a bit! I would love to know your thoughts on everything we’ve discussed. 🙂

        • comic relief November 8, 2011 at 8:18 PM #

          Sure, I’ll be here til the end. 🙂

  12. comic relief November 8, 2011 at 8:20 PM #

    Are we going out of our way to focus on principles?

  13. comic relief November 8, 2011 at 8:21 PM #

    How should we view supporting actors?

    Phillip Seymour Hoffman:

    Paul Giamatti:

    Kathy Bates:

    Jeffrey Wright

    • comic relief November 8, 2011 at 8:23 PM #

      Maybe I should correct that, all of these actors have filled the principle role (at one time or another) as well.

    • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 8:25 PM #

      Oh my gosh! These actors are phenomenal! I think they deserve their own post! I am a Hoffman fan through and through.

      I feel each of the actors we have mentioned really believe in themselves and their talent. You can tell they focus more on their craft than star power.

      • comic relief November 8, 2011 at 8:29 PM #

        That’s an interesting POV. I agree with you yet, I tend to believe if you aren’t say “eye candy” (an unbelievably nasty notion). You probably will not see much star visability.

        • comic relief November 8, 2011 at 8:30 PM #

          I only say that based on what I have seen. This is not my preference.

        • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 8:35 PM #

          imo, eye candy is subjective. What I consider good looking, many others may not. I think Robert Pattinson is good looking. He’s been compared to a foot. I don’t find Megan Fox attractive. I think Emily Watson is beautiful.

          • comic relief November 8, 2011 at 8:45 PM #

            …very very subjective.

            One of the reasons I mention Giamatti, Hoffman, Bates, and Hoffman is they have delivered some of the best lines and have communicated some of the most unique ideas in film.

            I believe the list you mentioned is definitely physically attractive, but a drama seems to rely on far more than that to fly. Because they are so attractive I hope all find the opportunity deliver some of the content we’ve seen.

            • Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 8:46 PM #

              I would prefer talent over looks any day of the week. 🙂

              • Open Book November 9, 2011 at 10:35 AM #

                What if an actor has talent and looks? Sometimes HW can put actors in a box because it’s easier to market, and this can stifle an actors creativity by reducing them down to their looks.

              • Rosie November 30, 2011 at 5:20 AM #

                I bow down humlby in the presence of such greatness.

  14. Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 8:36 PM #

    what actors do you think have had a “new birth” in the film industry as they got into their 50s and 60s?

    • comic relief November 8, 2011 at 8:47 PM #

      Nick Nolte seems to be getting more work. He was in Warrior.

  15. Littlebells November 8, 2011 at 8:46 PM #

    I need to go for the evening, but I will be back to check in and answer any questions!

    Thanks for all your wonderful comments. 🙂

    Good night!

    • comic relief November 8, 2011 at 8:53 PM #

      See you LB,

      I would be interested to hear your opinion. One of the things that I think is so impressive about Hollywood is so many really talented actors happen to be really attractive.

  16. ozzie20 November 8, 2011 at 9:03 PM #

    Night all!

  17. Rose November 30, 2011 at 3:28 AM #

    Going to put this atrcile to good use now.

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