“Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety,” wrote Shakespeare of Cleopatra but he might just as well been describing Helen Mirren, who played the Egyptian queen in his Antony and Cleopatra on stage—and who has just been named as the newest face of L’Oreal Paris at age 69.
As part of her deal to be the brand’s new U.K. ambassador, Mirren has insisted that her image not be retouched, declaring, “I am not gorgeous, I never was, but I was always OK-looking and I'm keen to stay that way. I hope I can inspire other women towards greater confidence by making the most of their natural good looks."
This self-assurance and lack of pretension has made Mirren a byword for the mature woman who has retained her allure without trying to be something she's not. Bucking the trend of middle-aged actresses becoming increasingly invisible as they age, she has been offered her best roles in later life.
The L’Oreal campaign is designed to promote how women are beautiful at any age, with faces that range from Mirren and Fonda through Julianne Moore, 53, and Naomi Watts (a recent recruit of the L'Oreal family), 46, and Blake Lively, 27, and Karlie Kloss, 22.