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Russell Crowe Scolds Hollywood Women: Age Isn’t Just a Number

Russell Crowe thinks too many actresses over 40 are trying for parts more suited for actresses in their 20s. (Photo: Getty)

Russell Crowe thinks too many actresses over 40 are trying for parts more suited for actresses in their 20s. (Photo: Getty)

Russell Crowe thinks too many actresses in Hollywood refused to acknowledge that thy are no longer young enough to play ingenue roles and complain instead about the lack of parts for them in major films.

We say he misses the point.

The issue is has more to do with the fact that men play lead romantic roles in movies into the 50s and even 60s, while women are largely excluded from those parts after they hit 40–and sometimes sooner.

The problem has been around for almost as long as Hollywood has been making films. Notable stars like Denzel Washington, who is now 60, and Harrison Ford, who is 74, are typically paired with women 20- to 30-years their junior, according to Vulture.

Washington last starred opposite woman close to his own age in the 1992 film “Malcolm X.” He was 37 and his co-star Angela Bassett was 34. Over the years, of course, he’s aged. But his co-stars haven’t.

In his 2012 film, “Flight,” Washington, now 57, played an airline pilot with a drinking problem. His co-star, Kelly Reilly was, you guessed it, 35.

The closest Ford came to a co-star his own age was the 1981 film “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” He was 38 when he played Indiana Jones and love interest Karen Allen was 29. Over his next seven films, he aged 20 years, but every female love-interest was under 40.


In his career, Crowe’s co-stars have closely matched his own age. In the 2013 film, Superman,” Crowe was 48 when he played Superman’s father; his on-screen wife, Ayelet Zurer, was 45.

In the 2010 British-American action-adventure film “Robin Hood,” Crowe was 46, and his love interest, Kate Blanchett, was 41.

And, in the 2005 film “Cinderella Man,” Crowe was 41 when played boxer James J. Braddock. Renee Zellweger, who played his character’s wife, was 36.

Maybe that’s why he told The Australian newspaper’s Women’s Weekly magazine that there are an abundance of parts “for people in all different stages of life.”

“To be honest, I think you’ll find that the woman who is saying that [the roles have dried up] is the woman who at 40, 45, 48, still wants to play the ingénue, and can’t understand why she’s not being cast as the 21 year old,” he said.

Meryl Streep will give you 10,000 examples and arguments as to why that’s bullshit, so will Helen Mirren, or whoever it happens to be,” he added.

“The point is you do have to be prepared to accept that there are stages in life,” he said.

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