If people are unhappy about Keanu Reeves dating a woman with gray hair, that’s just sad for them. (It could also be that women would hate on anybody who’s on his arm.) But we need to let Alexandra know that teenagers are dyeing their hair the same color as us — so we must be cool. (Recently I was at a nightclub and a girl in her 20s asked me, “So what color did you use for your hair?” And I said, “It’s natural.” She was a bit taken aback. It was quite dark.) I look at photos of Alexandra, and she changes her hairstyle often and is always smiling. I think that Keanu decided he just wants a wonderful person at his side. She seems like a happy person and she should be, as she’s accomplished as an artist.
Gray hair is wonderful, and I wish I had gone to my natural color earlier. When you’re a model with blond hair that you are retouching every four weeks, it’s expensive, and after a while, you don’t even know what color you are underneath. As I was nearing 60, my modeling agent said that people didn’t want to book me. I thought, “It’s my time now — let me stop coloring my hair.” And I did. I cut it very short and edgy. The agency didn’t send me out for six months. So I left the agency and went to a new one. That’s when my modeling took off. All these clients were saying, “We’ve been trying to book you forever, and your agent said that you weren’t available.”
When I turned up for a shoot for Fashion, the Canadian magazine, I said, ‘”I’m the model, but I assume I’m the granny in the background” — because I’ve always been the fifth person in the shot. But when I got there, it was just me and nobody else. It was eight pages of incredibly beautiful shots.
Suddenly the world opened up to me, and all because I went white-haired. My career accelerated beyond what I could have imagined. I was traveling to Europe a lot, because they appreciate white hair and older women. And I was doing editorial shots — nobody wanted a woman in her 60s doing editorials before. I didn’t even know how to pose, I was awkward in the beginning.
The only time I had a negative reaction on social media was from a short-seller, a hedge fund manager who’s big on Tesla, my son Elon’s company, after I tweeted something about it. His name’s Mark Spiegel and he was very proud of insulting me. I blocked him finally. He said, “Don’t listen to her! She’s an old broad and she’s nearly dead.”
Often I’m pretty much the only one at a party with white hair. I noticed that Alexandra has been compared to Helen Mirren, and I’ve been mistaken for Helen Mirren, too. Recently at an event, I met Diane Keaton, and she was asking about my white hair. She’s growing her gray hair out. You could see the blond, gray and white. It is wonderful to meet another woman of talent and charm.
Just like in the modeling industry, there’s a lot of rejection in the acting industry. In fact, I think there’s a lot more pressure on actors and artists than models, because I haven’t had a backlash. Maybe because people really appreciate me being 71 and getting out there. Actresses have teams that convince them they need to keep a youthful look or they’re not going to get roles — but then look at Dame Judi Dench! As a model, I’m happy to take older roles. Sometimes I look 95, depending on the lighting. In my latest Harper’s Bazaar shoot, I look like I’m 25 — but that’s just great lighting and some retouching.
In my book, A Woman Makes a Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty, and Success, (out Dec. 31 on Penguin), I speak about beauty as defined by being fascinating, intelligent, successful, charming, considerate, walking tall. And Alexandra has it all. She’s going to have to, being in the limelight, put up with the naughty people. I just wish Alexandra the best. I want to tell her: Please don’t listen to the negative content. Though if I dated some handsome hunk who was 15 years younger than me and we walked the red carpet, I’m sure I would be slaughtered. So I guess I’m looking forward to that!