From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
To play a strung-out widow addicted to diet pills in Requiem for a Dream, Ellen Burstyn wore a series of fat suits, prosthetic necks and fright wigs. Brags the film's cowriter and director Darren Aronofsky: "I am responsible for turning one of the most beautiful women on the planet into an animal!" But Burstyn bears Aronofsky no ill will. After all, the performance earned the 68-year-old actress a sixth Oscar nomination (she won in 1975 for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore), and besides, she says, "for the last 10 or 15 years I've played older than myself quite a bit. I've kind of gotten over having to look as pretty as I can." Trish Burstyn, 32, wife of the actress's 39-year-old son Jeff, says that her mother-in-law is a knockout nonetheless: "She has extremely flattering cheekbones, and tier eyes are stunning. Any woman would want those eyes." The 5'7" Burstyn, a three-time divorcée and grandmother of one, keeps in shape with yoga and workouts on an exercise bike at her Upstate New York home. "I try to eat organic fruits and vegetables, and more fish than meat or chicken," she says, adding that she eschews alcohol and coffee. "I look a lot better than I ever thought I would at this age. It takes effort, but it's worth it."