Helena Bonham Carter Is Tired of Society's Obsession with Aging: 'So Much Else We Should Worry About'

The actress doesn't feel "aging" should be a "dirty word"

Helena Bonham Cart during the BFI Preview of "Nolly" at BFI Southbank
Helena Bonham Carter. Photo: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

Helena Bonham Carter is tired of having to apologize for her age.

"Every single magazine, Instagram, anything, it's all about thou shalt not age," the British actress told BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour this week. "It's a dirty word, aging. We're all obsessed with it, it's sort of pathological. It's almost a crime, the shame attached."

At 56, she feels she has reached her "prime" and would never want to return to her younger years.

"It would be great if we could change our societal rules and say, 'Come on, we're in our prime in our 60s: We've got everything and we're coming into our power,' " she said. "At the end of the day, you can get really obsessed. We can't actually control what we look like, but we think we can, and in fact there's so much else we should worry about."

Helena Bonham Carter, winner Of The British Icon Award, attends the Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year Awards
Helena Bonham Carter. David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

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Bonham Carter prefers life in the present. "I'm definitely the cliché of saying I'm miles happier than I was when I was younger," she said. "I don't ever want to go back there."

She continued, "My envelope may be less strictly aesthetically pleasing, but on the inside, I'm much more interesting and dynamic — and, I think, attractive."

Helena Bonham Carter attends the Save The Children: Centenary Gala
Helena Bonham Carter. Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Now starring in the title role of ITV drama Nolly, she plays the star of Crossroads, who was dismissed from the soap opera in her early 60s.

She feels fortunate there are more roles available for older women due to streaming services. "So far it's going well," Bonham Carter told BBC. "The fact I got Nolly I was thinking, 'God, I'm so lucky at my age to get this part,' which is frankly one of the best parts I've been offered and at my age."

She continued, "Then part of me thought how sad that I even have to apologize for my age. It's getting better, it is getting better. For one, I think it's getting better for everyone because of the amount of streaming services — it's the age of telly, isn't it? All these things are being made."

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