June 21, 2017
Article taken from PageSix.
CANNES — Helen Mirren said of how she felt after landing a beauty contract with L’Oreal at age 69, “It was about bloody time!”
The Oscar-winning actress, 71, told a Cannes Lions audience that it was a breakthrough when she was asked to become a brand ambassador for L’Oreal in 2014.
She continued, “I thought, at last, there has been a shift [in the fashion and beauty industry] — I’m talking about age and beauty, but also diversity.”
She recalled living with acclaimed fashion photographer James Wedge in the 1970s when “he could not get a black girl on the front of a magazine. Now, finally, the breakthrough has happened … And now it’s great to see older women, different genders, different religions — the whole diversity of the world we are living in.”
The British star also spoke about launching the “All Worth It” initiative to give confidence training to young people in the UK with the help of nonprofit The Princes’ Trust. The program hopes to help up to 10,000 young people training in skills including public speaking.
Mirren herself admitted in an ad for the campaign, “A lack of self-confidence is always with me,” and she continued in her speech at Cannes, “The minute I’m not working I start to think, I start asking who am I, what am I? … It’s a worm in the brain. I don’t think any of us are ever absolutely free of it. But it is particularly debilitating and useless in the young.”
As for hiding her own insecurities, “Well, I’m a good actress, you know. That is what it is all about, you just act your way through it. You are not the only one who is going to suffer great self-doubt and insecurity.”
Mirren, who was joined on stage by L’Oreal Paris UK general manager Adrien Koskas and McCann Worldgroup global chief strategy officer Suzanne Powers, even managed to take a shot at President Donald Trump.
She described the tattoo on her wrist, two interlocking V’s, which signifies that “people can be as completely different to you as you could possibly imagine, but still have the same value to you.” The acclaimed actress explained, “It means you are equal to me, it doesn’t matter how different you are to me.”
But she added, “Sometimes it is quite different for me to grasp, especially for me personally when you are dealing with people who elected Donald Trump.
“But I have to recognize their need and their fear and their pain and why they went into that direction. I have to give them equal value to what I represent.”