Michelle Pfeiffer: ‘Looking Great For My Age Is OK Now’

Mark Deming
Movie TalkSeptember 4, 2013

Most actresses say that living up to Hollywood's glamorous ideal gets harder with age. But Michelle Pfeiffer is one star who isn't letting that challenge weigh her down. In fact, Pfeiffer says it all gets easier for her as the years go by.

In a new interview with the Ladies' Home Journal, the 55-year-old Pfeiffer says she's grateful she's no longer expected to look like a twenty-something. "Once you get over a certain hump there actually is less pressure," Pfeiffer said. "You can begin to look great for your age. You don't have to look young anymore. I've moved over to that other side –I'm 55, which is a little too close to 60, but looking great for my age is okay now."

Of course, Pfeiffer just about defines "looking great for your age." In the photos that accompany her LHJ interview, the three-time Oscar nominee could easily pass for a well-preserved 40, and she still has the athletic body and rich blonde hair that made her one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood.

[Related: Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro Return to Mob Roots in ‘The Family’]

While Pfeiffer mentions she jogs and works out with free weights five times a week and sticks to a vegan diet, she says one of her biggest beauty secrets is simply not worrying so much about her looks.

"Having to watch yourself age on a giant movie screen is simply not natural," Pfeiffer said. "It can wreak havoc on your psyche. My dermatologist said to me once, 'You know that 10X magnifying mirror that you have in the bathroom? Throw it away.' It was the best advice anybody ever gave me. Of course, now my eyes are weaker and I can't see to put my makeup on without that mirror!"

See Michelle Pfeiffer talk about her latest project: "The Family"

Pfeiffer's interview comes as she's putting her career back in high gear. In 2004, she and her husband David E. Kelley (the writer and producer behind the TV hits "Boston Legal" and "Ally McBeal") left Los Angeles for Northern California so their two children could live outside of the Hollywood limelight, and Pfeiffer found herself taking less work. Now that her kids are in college, Pfeiffer is booking more projects – in 2012, she starred in Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows" reboot, as well as playing Chris Pine's mother in the comedy-drama "People Like Us."

[Related: 10 Robert De Niro Death Stares]

Now Pfeiffer is co-starring with Robert De Niro in Luc Besson's "The Family," in which a veteran Mafioso and his family are forced to join the FBI's Witness Protection Program. It's a welcome throwback to Pfeiffer's early work in mob movies like "Scarface" and "Married To The Mob." The film also gives Pfeiffer a chance to wrestle with the insecurities that paradoxically fuel her creative process.

"I still think I'm going to be fired in the first week of every new job I take. Always," Pfeiffer said. "In fact, before I even start a movie I'll try to get myself fired or think of a reason I should quit. I guess it's fear of failure. I tend to choose parts that are a stretch for me. It's like I'll throw myself into the deep end and think I'm going to drown for a very long time."

We should all be lucky enough to fail like Pfeiffer does! "The Family" opens in theaters Friday, September 13.

See Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro in "The Family" theatrical trailer: