Helen Mirren on Hollywood ageism: “Fucking outrageous.” Shown: Mirren at the Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York, June 7, 2015. Reuters
Russell Crowe may think twice the next time he puts words in other people’s mouths — especially in the mouths of women, and especially when the subjects are sexism and ageism in Hollywood. The “Gladiator” star claimed recently that Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep were perfect examples of older actresses who didn’t complain about how women in Hollywood don’t get roles after a certain age because, unlike the complainers, they don’t seek out “ingenue” roles.
But Mirren came back with a colorful rejoinder. When asked by The Wrap what she thought about Maggie Gyllenhaal’s recent claim that, at age 37, she was turned down for a role as a 55-year-old man’s love interest in a film, Mirren responded: “Fucking outrageous. It’s ridiculous, honestly. It’s so annoying,” reported IndieWire.
She added that little changes in Hollywood: “And ’twas ever thus. We all sat there watching James Bond, as he got more geriatric and his girlfriends got younger and younger.”
Although empirical evidence exists to prove Crowe wrong, and Mirren correct — namely, the wildly discrepant age gaps between leading men and young women (but not vice versa) — having Mirren call Crowe’s theory malarkey is satisfying, nonetheless.
As for Streep, the 65-year-old acting legend told People that as soon as she hit 40, she began getting more offers for roles as witches. “When I was 40, I was offered three witch [roles]. I was not offered any female adventurers or love interests or heroes or demons. I was offered witches because I was ‘old’ at 40.”
Although she said in the interview that roles she was offered had improved a bit for her since then, that might be because Streep is a bit of an outlier in Hollywood as an actor, male or female: She’s won three Academy Awards and has been nominated more than any actor or actress.Share