Helen Mirren, Jane Fonda, Blythe Danner, and Charlotte Rampling: Iconic Actors in Juicy Roles for Women

Harvey Weinstein threw a swell party for Helen Mirren this week at House of Elyx, a chic loft in the Meatpacking District that Mickey Rourke used to own. Standing and greeting guests for two hours, Mirren chatted with admirers of her work in Woman in Gold, based on the true story of Maria Altmann, who with her lawyer E. Randol Schoenberg took on the Austrian government to regain Klimt's famous painting, Nazi-held loot in the Holocaust. The drink of the night: a special cocktail with a gold leaf and Absolut Elyx served in old-fashioned champagne glasses. Mirren talks clothes: she wore a floral Dolce & Gabbana shape hugging sheath, the better to be seen, she said, among the sea of black that marks a New York social event. She talks human rights: reminding a clutch of fans of her speech at the Gotham Awards where she segued from marital sex to the plight of the poet Ashraf Fayadh in Saudi Arabia sentenced to death for his writing. "I was among people of influence," she explained, and urged everyone to take action through PEN.

In Youth, Jane Fonda plays a successful actress who wants to tell filmmaker and former lover Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel) she won't be in his new movie. In the movie for one key scene, however brief, she is memorable. "Paolo Sorrentino checked to see if I looked right," she said of her vavavavoom dress and Dolly Parton wig. "He is the maestro," she said in praise of his direction, and especially of the spirit of Youth: one can have it at any age. "I'm just happy I am working," happy to wake up and go to the set of her Netflix series Frankie and Grace with Lily Tomlin (the star of a gem of a film, Grandma), and happy to be in this movie.

That's a sentiment shared by Blythe Danner whose movie I'll See You in my Dreams features a widow who learns to make every day count. Hilarious is a scene with her best friends on a rampage at 7-11 with a severe case of the munchies. At lunch this week at le Cirque, Danner had an air of self-mockery about directors like Brett Haley trusting her to carry a movie. Check out her sex scene with Sam Elliott!

Charlotte Rampling plays Kate, a woman in a long marriage in the movie 45 Years. At tea at the Plaza Athenee this week, she looked confident, taking her long career in stride: "We are very good at what we do," she said of herself, and director Andrew Haigh. "We can make people believe anything."

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.