At 61, Melanie Griffith has no qualms about being asked to audition for roles. “I’m totally open to it,” she says, though she does find the process funny at times. “People go, ‘Wow, you’re really good!’ And I say, ‘Well, yeah, I worked forever. I know what I’m doing, so… thank you?’ People forget very easily in this business.”

Melanie, who earned an Oscar nod for her turn in 1988’s Working Girl, is more than ready to remind everyone of her talents. “After getting divorced [from Antonio Banderas] and finishing up with my kids — [my youngest], Stella is now 21 — I have the time to reboot and revitalize my career. I’m really just now ready to do it again,” the mom-of-four reveals, though she’s aware of the challenges ahead. 

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“It’s different from being the hot stuff to being the old hot stuff,” quips Melanie, who got her start at 14 in 1973’s The Harrad Experiment opposite mom Tippi Hedren, 88, and future husband Don Johnson. Though Working Girl put her on the A-list (“A lot of women say, ‘I saw that and it gave me encouragement to do what I wanted to do,'” she beams), her later roles include as many misses as hits, and her career’s sometimes been overshadowed by her romances with exes Steven Bauer, Don, and Antonio. 

That’s why she’s so driven to find another big role, all while she contemplates penning an autobiography and making a return to Broadway. (In 2003 she starred in Chicago.) “I have a whole new horizon to conquer,” Melanie says — and more generations of women to inspire.

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