I am about to interview a handsome young man called Ben Barnes who is in Abu Dhabi for the Middle East International Film Festival. He stars in a great new film called Easy Virtue with, among others, Colin Firth.
Tragically Colin is not here or I would have been interviewing him as well. I was rather depressed last night as I watched the film and quickly realised that I found the middle-aged Colin a thousand times sexier than the young gun. This is clearly a sign that I am just that – middle aged.
Ben’s next film is Dorian Gray. We all know the plot; young man makes pact with devil to stay handsome and young. Staying young is a bit of a theme this week. As you may know I saw Duran Duran on Sunday. I was so excited. John Taylor and Nick Rhodes were among my top ten list of gorgeous men for many years.
“This is such a great east meets west event,” a young Arab said to me while we waited for my heroes to show up.
“I was rather hoping it would be more of a Helena Frith Powell meets John Taylor kind of event,” I replied, edging closer to the front of the stage. Big mistake. Huge. Getting close to the front that is. Being so close made it easy to see the decline in the heroes of my youth.
John Taylor has for some reason turned into Jim Carrey. His face is all crinkled and rubbery. Nick Rhodes is a square blob with hay-stack hair and Simon Le Bon is horribly jowly. He also had a dreadful habit of spitting onto a piece of kitchen paper (obviously laid out for that purpose) every ten minutes. And all the songs they were going to do were written in HUGE BLACK LETTERS on a piece of paper on the floor. Possibly so they wouldn’t forget them. I saw straight away that Save a Prayer wasn’t on it and although I did enjoy bopping along to the others, that was the one I wanted.
The extraordinary thing was that Le Bon acted as if he was Dorian Gray; as if he still looks twenty and is incredibly sexy, which he just isn’t. I suppose the sad truth is that although we age on the outside, inside we still feel as funky and pretty as we did when we were young. My mother-in-law says she is often horrified when she catches a glimpse of herself. “Who’s that old dear?” she asks, before realising it is her.
So although I did fancy Colin more than Ben, there is something undeniably attractive about youth. And it is something we all long to hold on to. But Duran Duran should stop dying their hair, prancing around in badly-cut nylon suits and realise they have no portrait in the attic.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2008