Dame Helen Mirren (Dame is the female corollary to ‘Sir’ in Great Britain) was in Hollywood Tuesday at the Hollywood Reporter’s Power 100 Women in Entertainment Breakfast and she made it clear she has no respect for what she perceives as Hollywood’s over emphasis on making films that feature sexy actresses and are geared for younger men (she thinks).
Here is what she said “I resent in my life the survival of some very mediocre male actors and the professional demise of some very brilliant female ones. However, with all due respect to you many brilliant and successful women in this room… really not too much has changed in the canon of Hollywood film making that continues to worship at the altar of the 18 to 25-year-old male and his penis… Quite small, I always think.” She added “(It makes me feel) a bit cross, actually. We have to let go of this c**p. It creates even more pressure on women, and I certainly don’t want to be a part of that. I’m not beautiful; I clean up nice… (but) the fact that I look good at the age I am is bloody irrelevant.”
She was there to receive a lifetime achievement award which was ironically presented by well known sex symbol Halle Berry who said:
“The thing I want to say is that the last bastion of civil rights in the movie business is ageism. And Helen you have single-handedly, all by yourself, broken down that barrier because you can age, you can do films that are successful and you can still be hot as hell.”
Nothing wrong with what Helen said other than she fails to address the business aspect of making movies – movies need to make a profit and sex/sexy sells, thus the abundance of sexy actresses AND actors in Hollywood. Plus it makes good sense to gear lots of movies to demographic segments that attend movies most.
But Halle shows herself to be really dumb – since when is starring and acting in movies a civil right? Are producers expected to make the representation in motion pictures a match with the age, race, and sex distribution of America? Duh – does Berry think that the movie business is the friggin Post Office? But it gets worse – she ends her praise by saying that Helen is still “Hot” and this is exactly what Helen was putting down in her criticism of Hollywood!
There is no danger of Halle Berry ever becoming a speech writer – no matter how many civil rights she has.