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‘Things Have Changed a Lot’

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‘Things Have Changed a Lot’

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Andie MacDowell doesn’t work for Pantone, but she does have some direction when it comes to categorizing the exact shade of her hair.

“I don’t think it’s gray. I think it’s silver!” the actress and former model laughs when discussing the popular subject of her hair color. “I don’t like the word gray. Gray sounds dull. There’s nothing dull about my hair—it’s a beautiful color. I feel lucky that I have all these different shades in my hair!”

Top, Skirt, Shoes: Alberta Ferretti; Belt: ByFar

This spring, the soon-to-be 66-year-old and mom-of-three is also feeling lucky about the success of her show, The Way Home (seasons one and two are available to stream on Hallmark Movies Now), her long-time L’Oréal Paris partnership (she’s been a spokesperson for the brand since 1986) and life in general.

“I really like my life. It is a pure pleasure for me at this age to get dressed up and have people take good care of me, do my hair and makeup, and photograph me,” she says. “All of this is an honor for me.”

Dress: Magda Butrym; Earrings: Tiffany & Co.

With her unforgettable leading roles in ‘90s classics like Greencard, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Groundhog Day, MacDowell has witnessed the evolution of women in Hollywood over the years. Having been a household name in the industry for so long, she’s seen its ebbs and flows, and its recent transformations and challenges.

And just as she’s navigated her own path, her daughters, Margaret Qualley and Rainey Qualley (son Justin Qualley has stayed out of the limelight), have also found their way into the same spotlight. Margaret, in particular, has made waves with her performances in acclaimed films and series, while Rainey has showcased her talent in both acting and music. Margaret’s marriage to Grammy-winning producer and Taylor Swift–collaborator Jack Antonoff adds another layer to their Hollywood ties. As the industry continues to evolve for women in particular, MacDowell has some thoughts for the next generation.

When I turned 40, it was an ugly time for women in Hollywood. Women were basically disposable at 40.

I know you’ve spoken about Hollywood and aging a lot. Do you think it’s getting better?

“I definitely think there have been vast improvements. I wish I had been around now when I was 30 or 40, because when I turned 40, it was an ugly time for women in Hollywood. Women were basically disposable at 40. We got set aside… even though they adjusted the business for men.

But I do feel like that’s changing. I think it has to do with awareness, and, also, a lot more women are involved now. When women get involved, we see characters from a different perspective. I think there’s space and room to grow, but things have changed a lot, and for the better.”

Do you have any advice that you’d give to your younger self when you were starting out in this industry? Anything you would have done differently?

“That’s a tricky question because life is what happens to you. A lot of times, it’s the journey that gets you to where you are now. I don’t know…I did give my daughters advice when they went into the business. I told them to watch movies and to know what they like. I still think that is good advice; I think continuing to study and take classes and grow and be flexible and realize there’s always something new to learn is key. I have given that advice, and I take that advice for myself as well.”

Dress: Fendi; Belt: Magda Butrym

I like that. I know it’s an exciting time for your children as well, and they’ve seen success. How does that feel? Were you nervous in the beginning when they wanted to get into this industry?

“I was honored, because it meant that I didn’t do anything that was destructive to their lives. It meant that I had been a good mother because they would choose to do the same thing I had done. Of course, it was always hard as a working mother…I made a lot of sacrifices. I would also lose time with my children when I worked, but at the same time, they encouraged me.

There was a point when I went to them and I said, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ They literally said: ‘No, you can’t stop.’ They were really proud of me. I think that gave me the opportunity to show them that being able to work and be a successful mother is something that you can accomplish. They love working—they love doing what I do.

The only thing I didn’t want to have them do is work as children. I didn’t do that. And it can be fine. Parents can make that decision however they want to, but I felt like my kids deserved to have a childhood and not to work. I felt strongly that I didn’t want them to work as children.”

Full Look: Alberta Ferretti; Belt: ByFar

Congrats on the success of your show. How does it feel when you’re working on a project that is getting so much buzz?

“The script was very enticing, and I’ve read a lot of scripts! I was very impressed with the script for the pilot, and I think they followed through and kept the show very unique and interesting. It is such beautiful storytelling.

And I’m working with women—it is all women writers, and they’re all really good about listening to my feelings. They respect how I feel about my character when I bring suggestions. They’ve been very open to hearing how I feel, which is a unique experience…that does not always happen. I’m having a good time, and I’m glad that everyone seems to be enjoying the show.”

Dress: Christopher Esber; Jewelry: David Yurman

Your L’Oréal Paris partnership has lasted almost four decades, making it one of the longest- running beauty contracts in the business. How does it feel to work with a beauty brand for so long?

“I’ve had three children with them! When I first found out they were offering me the contract—that very first contract—I found out I was pregnant, and I had to tell them. I was so afraid that they were going to dump me. They didn’t. I’ve managed to last a really long time with this incredible company. It has been an amazing journey for me and it’s an honor to be a spokesperson for them for this long. I’m very proud of them; I’ve watched them grow as a company. I’ve seen them show such deep respect for aging women, and they’ve really been a champion for all kinds of women and for diversity. I’m really proud to be with this company that I feel has been a strong advocate for women.”

It’s the journey that gets you to where you are now.

I know there’s so much talk about your hair color. Are you sick of talking about it?

”To be honest, I wanted to let it go gray earlier, but I was afraid. I finally got the courage during COVID when I saw it with my eyes and my skin color. Once it was growing out, I could see what the color was going to be like, and I really loved it. I knew it was time.

For me, it’s fascinating that it’s such a curiosity and interest to people. I think also, it’s important to stop and think about that interest and curiosity— because it wouldn’t happen if I was a man. It happens because I’m a woman. We have to look at that. We have to look at why there’s interest in me having silver hair, because if I were a man, there would be no question I had silver hair, right?

But, yes, I’m lucky. I think it’s a really good shade. Just the other day, someone asked me where I got my hair color, which was interesting. I told them, ‘I don’t color my hair.’ They said, ‘It looks like that?’ I said, ‘Yes, that’s what it looks like!’”

That’s funny. What other projects or personal things are you excited for as we get into 2024?

“I think my show will continue. Like I said, I really respect these writers that I’m working with, and it’ll be interesting to see where it all goes. I have some other things that I can’t talk about that could be possibly happening, and if they do happen, all I will be doing is working [laughs].

I really like my life. I live in a beautiful place, and I love to take care of myself. At my age, I think it’s smart to focus on that. I’m very physically active. I love to exercise. I try to take my classes all the time; I walk on the beach, I do yoga, I work on mindfulness, I love to cook, and I love to eat healthy food. I just love being strong and healthy and an advocate for aging, which includes taking care of my mind and being social. I have a very busy life!”

Dress: Self Portrait; Earrings: Tiffany & Co.



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