“Fleet of Foot”
Eveline Hall began several new careers at an age when most people retire. A former dancer and stage actress, she became a model at the age of 60, recorded an album a short time later, and then made her debut in a feature film last year. The top model, who is now 71, talks about her late-starting global career, iron discipline, and the pointlessness of using Botox
Your breakthrough as a model came at the age of 65. What happened?
It had to do with an old friend of mine, Ted Linow, a former roller-skating professional who now owns a model agency. We met by chance after many years, and he said to me: “You look the same as before—you belong on the catwalk.” Then he convinced the designer Michael Michalsky to book me as a model.
Were you thrilled by the idea of modeling alongside 16-year-olds during the Berlin Fashion Week?
No, not at all. My first reaction was “I can’t do that”—but Ted persuaded me. I got a stomachache two minutes before I was to go on, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to walk like a teenager. No matter how fit you are, the way you walk changes as you get older.
What did you do?
At the last second, I decided to walk my own way. I wasn’t stiff and emotionless; I was more like a fleet-footed dancer floating down the runway, and I flirted with the audience. The next day I was a big topic in many newspapers—and I received a lot of praise.
Your dress size is 34. How have you been able to maintain your figure?
Through discipline. I’ve been training and exercising for up to two hours every day for more than 40 years now. I developed a program for this that involves doing ballet exercises with two five-kilo dumbbells. The exercises put every muscle to use, and I listen to an hour of French news and an hour of English news while I do them. I don’t want to forget those languages, and I also want to stay in shape mentally.
You had no way of knowing that you would begin a career as a model so late in life. So how did you stay motivated to keep training so hard during all those years?
To be honest, I was plain stingy. I wanted my wonderful clothes to keep fitting me; I had no desire to spend money on a new wardrobe.
Despite all the fitness, are there things that make you realize you’re no longer 20?
Of course. For example, when I look at my face I see my age.
How do you slow down the aging process? Do you use expensive anti-wrinkle creams?
I don’t believe in those. I do a facial peel with coffee grounds every day—it improves the blood flow. I also use a honey mask and a reasonably priced daily skincare cream
and that’s it.
Have you ever thought about using Botox?
No, I don’t see any need for that. Photographers love my face the way it is. I didn’t like my face when I was a kid; I thought it was too narrow. Today, it’s my pronounced features that ensure my success. I’m not afraid of getting old. Instead, I make use of what I have to offer because of my age.
You prefer younger men. Does that also keep you full of life?
Maybe, but it’s not the reason. I’m a very physical woman; I wouldn’t know what to do with a really old man. Not all of them are like Sean Connery.
Have you ever lied about your age?
Yes, once. That was with a partner who was 15 years younger than me. After he told me he wanted to start a family, I had to confess that I was 48.
People always say that you’re only as old as you feel. How old do you feel?
Around 40. I never had as much energy as I do now, and that frightens me sometimes, because I know that at some point the time will come when I’m going to feel my age all at once.
What are your plans until then?
Right now I’m working on an album of German songs, and I also look forward to acting in more movies, preferably in international productions. I also want to start jogging, because I don’t want to run out of breath while I’m working. I’ll start by running up and
down the street, and then I’ll go a little further every day.
Interview: Marion Genetti