According to the old, consoling fib, a face becomes more interesting and truly beautiful to behold with every wrinkle gifted by the passing years. For actors in particular, working in a trade where a youthful appearance is a bankable asset, it is the kind of cosy cant that prompts a bitter snort. But perhaps the tide is beginning to turn. Director Michael Mann's decision to cast Dustin Hoffman alongside Nick Nolte and Michael Gambon, three actors now in their 70s, in his new American television series, Luck, certainly gives some support to the argument. Set on the racetrack, it charts the lives of a series of gamblers who have earned their rugged looks with a lifetime spent studying the form and watching their dreams fall short in the final furlong.

With Judi Dench, John Hurt, Catherine Deneuve, Vanessa Redgrave and Jane Fonda all still pleasing crowds pretty regularly on stage and screen, the veteran stars of Luck are not alone in the field. It seems our fascination with a great performer really can grow with each creative risk they take. The wrinkles are just the price they pay to keep in the race.



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