Helen Mirren hoiks her spanx

10 December 2010

Helen Mirren received the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award on Wednesday at the annual Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainment breakfast, and used the opportunity to fiddle with her underpants (“hoik my spanx,” to the utter delight of the entire room) and speak the truth about women in film.  “With all respect to you many brilliant and successful women in this room, really not much has changed in the canon of Hollywood filmmaking that continues to worship at the altar of the 18- to 25-year-old male … and his penis,” she explained when talking about the struggles of older women to get parts.  As I noted in an email to my sister earlier today, I really must make a mental note to be more like Helen Mirren.

One cranky final word:  why is it that these events so frequently take place as the “women’s breakfast”?  I’ve attended many “women’s breakfasts” at professional conferences in my academic field and every time I wonder why it’s not a “women’s cocktail party.”  Truly:  there’s nothing particularly glamorous about dragging oneself to a 6:30am bowl of fruit with weak coffee in one of those bleak conference hotel ballrooms.  (Of course, we don’t have Helen Mirren types giving rousing speeches.  Maybe that’s my true complaint.)

5 Responses to “Helen Mirren hoiks her spanx”

  1. servetus Says:

    breakfasts vs cocktails: professional women aren’t allowed to admit they do anything that might be unhealthy or unvirtuous. If they did they would be coded piggish or slutty. Hence, the breakfast. It’s the like the initial conversation at new faculty orientation about how the first thing everyone wants to do the second it’s over is find out where the gym is and get in that first workout.

    This may be one of the more radical statements you ever pry out of me.

  2. aroomofheroine Says:

    Breakfasts are the sort of events where one ought to go to bed at six o’clock the night before.

    Mind you, if Helen Mirren were the keynote speaker, I would happily forego my night owl habits and hit the pillow at six o’clock a WEEK before.

  3. […] the 1943 film of the same name, inspired as I get ready to attend a women’s breakfast (see here for a cranky rant by me and others about the pattern of women’s breakfasts at professional meetings).  Oh Lena, how do you look so good if it keeps rainin’ all the […]

  4. […] that she’s an exception to the rule. My favorite is her speech accepting the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award in December. But she’s appeared in many other interviews just recently now that The Tempest is due to […]

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