Lesley Manville. Photo Courtesy of SCAD.

“I’m over 60, but I’m far from done,” Lesley Manville told the crowd on Sunday at the closing night of Savannah College of Art and Design’s second annual SCAD Lacoste Film Festival in Lacoste, France.

“I’m interesting. I’ve got lots to say,” the 67-year-old actress said. “I don’t want to be put into a corner because I’m not 25 anymore.”

The Phantom Thread actress and Oscar nominee was honored with the SCAD Etoile Award for achievement in cinema this year.

After an outdoor screening of her recent film Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, Manville gave a talk to students and festival attendees under a full moon at the university’s gorgeous satellite campus in France’s Provence region.

Her best advice for those who want to build a career in the entertainment industry? Focus on the work, not the idea of fame.

Also Read: SCAD Filmmaker Danil Pervukhin Finds Hope in Ukraine in ‘Glory to the Nation’

Lesley Manville: ‘You Don’t Want Quick Fixes’ When It Comes to an Acting Career

“I have lived through truly halcyon days coming up through the period that I’ve come up through, because nobody thought about being famous,” she said.

“I think that too many young people now — not because they necessarily want to — but they’re pushed towards this feeling that, unless they’re famous and unless they’re courting fame and singing it and actively being on social media, that they don’t exist. It’s such a poisonous way of thinking and steers you away from the most important thing, which is the work.”

After working as an actress for more than half a century, Manville assured the students that hard work does pay off — and that it’s better to have a slow burn of a career than a flash in the pan.

“I’ve now been working for 51 years as an actor,” she said. “You don’t want quick fixes. You don’t want to be the flavor of the month, because how do you ever maintain that? ‘Flavor of the month’ was a term that was bandied around quite a lot when I was a young actor, and I used to think, well I’m not the flavor of the month, why aren’t I the flavor of the month?” she added. “It sort of means nothing.”

Her final words of wisdom: Simply focus on honing your craft.

“You just want to keep doing the good work,” she said.

Main Image: Lesley Manville courtesy of SCAD