Here is the actor Charles Dance looking fit in the sea (we’re not interested in his girlfriend Alessandra Masi, she’s expected to look fit). Masi is 53 for the record but, honestly, we are unmoved. It’s all about the blokes now and what they look like, tops off. It’s their turn to be scrutinised, if not for their inner-thigh cellulite as they exit a limo, then at least for the state of their bare torsos in their swimming trunks. Only fair, wouldn’t you say?
There’s a crucial difference, of course. With women, the beach body ogle has always contained a note of barely disguised ill will. “We’ll get you in the end” is the general tone. “We’ll find the angle and the overhead sunlight that puts paid to your misplaced middle-aged body confidence. Just you wait.”
In contrast, pictures of mature chaps in swimming trunks are served up as admirable and inspirational, and the taut-chested Dance is now the hero of the hour.
He’s in excellent nick (as we all said when we saw the pictures) and, at 73, that puts him way ahead of the old bloke competition. (Pierce Brosnan is a mere 67, Dennis Quaid is only 66.)
This image has also, inadvertently, launched a whole new fun game: What’s Hot and What’s Not Over 70 (men only). Here are the top 10 rules if you’re thinking of giving CD a run for his money in the future:
- Choose regular old-school swimming trunks. Never Daniel Craig baby blue mini trunks or board short length.
- Say no to jewellery. CD has a bracelet, which we can let go, but thongs, beads, gold “Mescal” chains etc, not so much. We always felt Harrison Ford’s late-life ear piercing killed the crush.
- Be careful not to get too chest or other body part proud. Dance is sailing close to the wind on this one, to be honest, as he is prone to the three-undone-buttons shirt. (Note: men recognise, correctly, that too many done-up buttons makes them look like a Tory MP at a staycation photo call, plus unbuttoning is one of the few ruses they have to make themselves feel loose and a bit rock ’n’ roll. Even so, the gaping shirt is lame.) Instead, we recommend ankle baring.
- No hoodies, plunging T-shirts or V-neck sweaters worn with nothing underneath, if you were contemplating such a sacrilege (not impossible, see Simon Cowell).
- No long hair. Even Mick Jagger has a just-collar-covering hair do.
- No hair dyeing (unless for a part).
- Always trim eyebrows, and anywhere else that needs trimming.
- Wear dark glasses, when appropriate. As with women, they make you look less knackered when outdoors.
- Don’t be tempted to get a teeth makeover. Charles Dance has his own sharp little ivory teeth, as opposed to the set of solid white veneers that are normally provided for actors over 50. This is important since, particularly on older men, they look like glow-in-the-dark dentures.
- Never allow a female companion to apply sun cream to your nose or bald patch (even though we will always do it better): the optics are too “carer and their elderly charge”.
Is it just me...
Who is impressed but not remotely surprised that Tom Cruise is still doing his own stunts? Now working on the latest in the Mission Impossible series, Cruise has been spotted leaping off motorbikes in mid-air, prompting people to question why a 58-year-old actor would put himself in such a dangerous position. We can only assume these people have never seen a Mission Impossible film. They are one stunt after another, joined together with meaningful looks, gritted jaws and severe air turbulence. If he didn’t try his own stunts, there would be nothing for him to do.
Is it OK to…
Mourn the days of the wedding meringue? Emma Corrin, the actress who plays Princess Diana in the forthcoming series of The Crown, has described the moment she arrived on set in the wedding dress Diana wore in 1981. It was made to the original Emanuel pattern and although it will not have been embroidered with 10,000 genuine pearls, it was still “massive” and required the assistance of 10 people to get her into it. When the crew first saw her wearing it, they all fell silent, and is it any wonder? I think it’s fair to say that they don’t make them like that any more.