10+ Actors Who Revealed What It’s Like to Age in Hollywood

year ago

In Hollywood movies, male actors above the age of 40 tend to land approximately 80% of the leading roles. On the other hand, their female counterparts of the same age only receive about 20% of such roles, according to an economist’s analysis. When it comes to aging, the media plays favorites, and here are 11 actresses that have spoken out about the issue.

1. Liv Tyler

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Liv Tyler is one of the actors who decided to denounce the lack of representation of older women in Hollywood. “When you’re in your teens or twenties, there is an abundance of ingenue parts, which are exciting to play,” Tyler gushed in an interview. “But at my age, you’re usually the wife or the girlfriend — a sort of second-class citizen.”

2. Jessica Lange

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At 73 years old, Jessica Lange has a lot of experience when it comes to working in Hollywood, and the actress has talked about the treatment of older women in the industry. Lange said in an interview, “You don’t often see women in their sixties playing romantic leads, yet you will see men in their sixties playing romantic leads with costars who are decades younger.”

3. Helen Mirren

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Another actor that also complained about the unfair treatment women in Hollywood get was Helen Mirren. She said, “We all watched James Bond as he got more and more geriatric, and his girlfriends got younger and younger. It’s so annoying.”

4. Sarah Jessica Parker

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A couple of years ago, a picture of Sarah Jessica Parker went viral for all the wrong reasons. People were criticizing the actor for her gray hair. In her cover story for Vogue, Parker said, “There’s so much misogynist chatter. I’m sitting with Andy Cohen, and he has a full head of gray hair, and he’s exquisite. Why is it okay for him?”

5. Cher

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The singer and actress, Cher, was quoted saying in the book, Fifty on Fifty: Wisdom, Inspiration, and Reflections on Women’s Lives Well Lived, “I do think that when it comes to aging, we’re held to a different standard than men. Some guy said to me ’Don’t you think you’re too old to sing rock and roll?’ I said, ’You’d better check with Mick Jagger.’”

6. Jane Fonda

Chris Pizzello / Invision / East News

The Oscar winner, Jane Fonda, talked about how ageism is still alive in Hollywood. “It is okay for men to get older because men become more desirable by being powerful,” she explained. “With women, it’s all about how we look. Men are very visual, they want young women. So, for us, it’s all about trying to stay young.”

7. Meryl Streep

Kristin Callahan / Everett Collection / East News

Even one of the most renowned actors in Hollywood talked about ageism in the industry. Streep reflected on her past, saying, “I remember as I was hovering around 40, I thought each movie would be my last, really.” She even left us with a question that it’s worth pondering: “What films have you seen lately with serious roles for 50-year-old women in the lead?”

8. Jennifer Aniston

Kristin Callahan / Everett Collection / East News

According to Jennifer Aniston, in Hollywood, there’s pressure to be ageless, and the actor has seen how that affects other women in the industry. Aniston said, “I think what I have been witness to, is seeing women trying to stay ageless with what they are doing to themselves. I am grateful to learn from their mistakes.”

9. Patricia Arquette

Elizabeth Goodenough / Everett Collection / East News

Patricia Arquette is sick of the conversation around age in the media. The actor gushed in an interview, “I’d love to not have to talk about it anymore. I don’t think the men are talking about it at all.” Arquette also touched on the subject of age gaps in movies, explaining, “It is pathetic, and it looks pathetic when I hear some 55-year-old actor won’t play opposite a 42-year-old woman because she is too old for him.”

10. Maggie Gyllenhaal

Danny Moloshok / Invision / AP / East News, Evan Agostini / Invision / East News

Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal mentioned in an interview that, usually, young women play the love interest of older men. The actress and director once said, “I’m 37, and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55.”

11. Kate Winslet

Recently, Kate Winslet starred in a T.V. series called Mare of Easttown where she plays a middle age woman who is also a detective. When the director of the show told the actress they would edit out her bulging belly that was revealed in a passionate scene, Winslet told him not to do it.

When talking about her character, she said, “She’s a fully functioning, flawed woman with a body and a face that moves in a way that is synonymous with her age and her life and where she comes from. I think we’re starved of that a bit.”


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