Veteran Actors on Ageing – Do They Hate or Enjoy It?

Ageing in Hollywood means a huge shift in an actor’s career. There are less and less leading roles, and of course, if abs were more intriguing than the acting skills, it may be over altogether ? These veterans show no signs of slowing down, and some of them have even embraced getting older. What’s their current life philosophy?

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman (83), the god of voiceovers as well as an unforgettable “real” God, used to be afraid of ageing, but he’s embraced it after all. 

“There were times I feared I’d be an old man and never have got to do what I wanted. I just couldn’t get arrested when I was a younger man, and now I’ve reached retirement age, it seems Hollywood won’t even let me retire. Of course, I can afford to retire, but now I do it for the fun.”

Morgan Freeman for iNews

Geoffrey Rush

The Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush (68), who excelled in The King’s Speech a couple of years back, thinks his work is now more interesting. Even if he can’t get used to the idea that he’s not 37 anymore 🙂

“I’m suddenly now in my 60s, and I’m getting more offers because I’ve opened a doorway where I can now play the patriarch of a family. I never thought that was a character that was in my domain, or anything like that. I’m looking at roles where I go, “Be honest with yourself, you now have to play people in their 60s”. That feels a little bit odd, because I still think I’m 37. I ain’t.”

Geoffrey Rush for The Guardian

Frank Langella

Frank Langella (82), perhaps the most famous fictional Richard Nixon, condemns the fellow actors who can’t face the reality of ageing, and he appreciates his current lack of competition!

“You have those dinner conversations where they [ageing actors] talk about how someone wasn’t willing to pay their price, so they decided to pass. They are stretched and pulled and dyed and holding on like crazy to something that is long past. I feel doors should be open metaphorically and literally to whatever is right for you at the moment. I’m not going to fix myself to look like 63. Why would I want to? I would have to compete with 60-year-old actors. There are fewer actors my age.”

Frank Langella for Backstage

Christopher Plummer

Another Oscar winner, Christopher Plummer (90), thinks that actors don’t exactly retire. They only “go until they drop,” and memorizing all the lines helps them train their brain. As for the roles he’s getting now, he couldn’t be more pleased, and he thinks being old is much more fun than it used to be.

“There’s nothing more boring than a leading man. I couldn’t wait until I was a character actor in my 40s. The roles immediately got more interesting and more diverse.”

“For a while, everybody was totally indifferent to the aged and their problems. Now we’re living longer and we’re all on drugs and we’re having a ball. We’re hiding our age better and threatening to go beyond 100. I think the aged are being looked after better in the theatre and in movies.”

Christopher Plummer for Zoomer

Christopher Walken

It’s more than clear for Christopher Walken (77): he would love to be young again. 

“I remember I was in Toronto and I went to the movies. And there was a young girl at the counter and she automatically gave me the senior discount. That hadn’t really happened before. And I thought, “That’s it, it’s over.” I’d still rather be young again.”

He also explained how he maintains a youthful attitude with exercise, green tea, and a happy marriage. 

“It comes and goes. Green tea. I mean, my wife, I have a wife of almost 50 years, and I have a feeling that she looks after me a little bit like I was 7 years old. I don’t have kids. Maybe that has kept me young.”

Christopher Walken for The Talks

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