10/17/2014 AT 08:30 AM EDT
“We are on red alert when it comes to how we are perceiving ourselves as a species,” the Oscar-winning actress, 57, told The New York Times in an interview this week. “There’s no desire to be an adult. Adulthood is not a goal. It’s not seen as a gift.”
“Something happened culturally: No one is supposed to age past 45 – sartorially, cosmetically, attitudinally,” said McDormand, who is married to director Joel Coen. “Everybody dresses like a teenager. Everybody dyes their hair. Everybody is concerned about a smooth face.”
Everyone except McDormand.
“I have not mutated myself in any way,” she said. “Joel literally has to stop me physically from saying something to people – to friends who’ve had work. I’m so full of fear and rage about what they’ve done.”
In fact, she believes there is much to respect about the aging process. Looking older should signify “that you are someone who, beneath that white hair, has a card catalog of valuable information,” she explained.
That’s one of the reasons McDormand is relishing her latest role as the aging Olive Kitteridge in HBO’s mini-series adaptation of the same name, based on the Pulitizer Prize-winning book by Elizabeth Strout.
The collection of short stories follows a married couple over the course of several decades as they face ordinary trials and tribulations. McDormand bought the rights to the book five years ago and helped assemble the creative team as one of the main producers.
“It’s a subversive act,” she said of Olive Kitteridge, which will premiere Nov. 2.