Helen Slater, who played Supergirl in the classic 1984 DCU movie, recently spoke to Smallville star Michael Rosenbaum on his successful podcast Inside of You (before the actors’ strike). She spoke about working with Faye Dunaway on the movie, and how preoccupied she was with aging and looking her best. Slater also spoke of turning 60 and the pressure on women, especially actresses, to stay looking young and ‘pretty.’
Rosenbaum broached the subject of Dunaway with Slater and asked how she was to work with in the DCU movie. Slater replied; “The thing I remember was that she was probably only in her early 40s, but how concerned she was with the lighting and the perfectionism of an aging woman. I was really struck by that, more than anything else. Really tampering with the lights, making sure they were right, being self-protective.”
Slater explained how her friend, Twister actress Helen Hunt helped her put aging into perspective. “One of my closest friends is Helen Hunt. I was doing a series in Austin, we were hiking and I got back and said ‘I look so awful, Hell Bell, I just look so terrible, I just can’t believe it. Why do I look so awful?!'”
Slater continued; “She [Hunt] replied; ‘because we’re dying!’ And I was like ‘well if we’re dying, I guess I look pretty fantastic.’ From that moment on I was like ‘yeah, we’re aging, we’re dying, it looks like that, I’m done [worrying about it].”
Slater did add; “There’s a premium on how you look, there’s a premium on pretty. We just value that so much in our culture. There aren’t as many avenues for elder women.”
While Supergirl isn’t as highly regarded as the Christopher Reeve Superman movie trilogy from 1978-1983, it’s still a fun 80s movie which can invoke nostalgia (if you grew up with it) or you can view it as a camp curiosity.