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Cher had the best response to a Hollywood director who said she was “too old”

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Moya Crockett
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“So finally, I was like, ‘OK, look motherf***er…’”

In recent years, Cher has undergone something of a renaissance, with her status as one of the greatest kitsch divas of all time recognised by a new generation of fans. Her quote about being a rich man (and thus not needing to marry one) does the rounds constantly on Instagram. The yellow sequinned outfit she wore to the 1973 Oscars is constantly added to Pinterest inspiration boards. And when it was revealed that she would be appearing in Mamma Mia 2 – playing Meryl Streep’s mother, no less – the world, in desperate need of some light relief, let out a collective cry of joy.

Now, we have even more reason to adore Cher: this story about how she shut down ageist comments after she turned 40. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cher recently told an audience at a concert that she had been feeling nervous about hitting the major milestone back in May 1986.

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After a big birthday party, though, she said she felt more positive, and “went to sleep dreaming these fabulous thoughts of being 40 and it was good, and I was going to get all these movies and I was just so happy”.

Cher in The Witches of Eastwick with Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Susan Sarandon 

The next morning, however, she got a call from George Miller, the director of The Witches of Eastwick. The film was due to start filming in two months, with Cher playing one of the main roles opposite Jack Nicholson. Except…

“[Miller] said, ‘I just wanted to call and tell you that I don’t want you in my movie and Jack Nicholson and I think you’re too old and you’re not sexy.’ Good morning, 40!”

Reminiscing in 2018, Cher joked that “tears started streaming down my face” at Miller’s comments. But he kept going.

“He didn’t want to hang up,” she said. “He just wanted to tell me everything: ‘I hate the way you walk, I hate the way you talk, I don’t like the colour of your hair, I don’t like the colour of your eyes.”

Cher at the 1987 Academy Awards with her best actress Oscar 

It’s unclear whether this was Miller’s idea of a hilarious joke – we sincerely hope so – but regardless, Cher wasn’t standing for it.

“So finally, I was like, ‘OK, look motherf***er,’” she said. “Yeah, I said the whole thing. I said, ‘You didn’t find me under a rock. I was nominated for an Academy Award for Silkwood. And I got the Cannes Film Festival award for best actress for Mask, so goodbye!’”

Cher did star in The Witches of Eastwick, one of the best camp fantasy comedies of all time, and the very next year won the best actress Academy Award for Moonstruck. 

More than 30 years later, she’s still starring in films and selling out concerts all over the world – so we guess the last laugh’s on her.

Images: Getty Images

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Moya Crockett

Moya Crockett

Moya is Women’s Editor at stylist.co.uk, where she is currently overseeing the Visible Women campaign. As well as writing about inspiring women and feminism, she also covers subjects including careers, podcasts and politics. Carrying a tiny bottle of hot sauce on her person at all times is one of the many traits she shares with both Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.

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