The pains of be­ing beau­ti­ful

Metro USA (Boston) - - FILM - MATT PRIGGE @mattprigge GETTY

For­mer “Char­lie’s An­gel” Ch­eryl Ladd talks “Un­for­get­table” and cher­ish­ing her age.

Ch­eryl Ladd is happy she’s in her 60s.

When the “Peo­ple vs. O.J. Simp­son” ac­tress first hit the big time, it was for play­ing Kris Mun­roe on “Char­lie’s An­gels.” Con­tro­ver­sially, she had re­placed Farah Fawcett, and she was thought of mainly for her looks. Cut to four decades later and she’s get­ting more interesting roles — like Kather­ine Heigl’s ma­nip­u­la­tive, dom­i­neer­ing mother in the new thriller “Un­for­get­table.”

The ac­tress says she’s not a lot like her char­ac­ter. She tried to shield her own daugh­ter, Jor­dan, from the lime­light, be­cause it wasn’t her choice to be a pub­lic fig­ure. (She’s since be­come an ac­tress any­way, ap­pear­ing in “Cabin Fever” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof.”)

Ladd’s “Un­for­get­table” char­ac­ter, mean­while, de­mands Heigl have a great job, be a great mother, and be flaw­lessly re­fined in her looks and man­ners. (She has a daugh­ter as well as a step­daugh­ter.) It’s driven her crazy — which is par­tially why she flips out on her ex-hus­band’s new fi­ancee (Rosario Daw­son) and tries to make her life hell.

“You re­ally get this sense of this per­fec­tion­ism women have,” Ladd tells us. “We’re sup­posed to have all of th­ese things [like beauty, ex­quis­ite clothes and so­cial graces] lined up like lit­tle ducks. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for your true hu­man­ity.”

So­ci­ety may be get­ting cooler to the idea of gen­der equal­ity, but the flip­side is that women now have more on their plate. Men certainly don’t have to do nearly as much. They don’t have to be great dads, and some­times it doesn’t mat­ter what they look like. (Our pres­i­dent def­i­nitely isn’t a looker.)

“It takes them 10 min­utes to look good,” Ladd says. “They shower, they shave,

they put on a nice out­fit, they brush their teeth, and off they go. Is that fair?

“All lit­tle girls want to play dress up. But to do it all over again, day af­ter day af­ter day, it gets … tired. That’s why I like go­ing to the su­per­mar­ket with a pony­tail, blue jeans and sneak­ers. I’m just this per­son. It’s a nice way to live.”

Still, things are dra­mat­i­cally dif­fer­ent than when she came into the spotlight in the ’70s.

“It’s changed enor­mously,” Ladd says. “Char­lie’s An­gels” may have been about at­trac­tive women, but they were also very strong and in­de­pen­dent. That wasn’t seen a lot in those days. “We kind of broke the mold for ac­cept­able jobs for women at that time,” Ladd says.

“It wasn’t that long ago that women were sup­posed to be teach­ers and nurses and sec­re­taries.”

Ch­eryl Ladd plays the dom­i­neer­ing mother of Kather­ine Heigl in the thriller “Un­for­get­table,” now in the­aters. WARNER BROS. PIC­TURES

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