Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway is the latest female to admit that at the tender age of just 32, she has reached her sell-by date, according to Hollywood standards. We’ve seen a shocking amount of ageism in Hollywood of late, with Maggie Gyllenhaal being pronounced far too old (at 37) to play the partner of a man over 50, and our beloved Emma Thompson insisting the divide is only getting worse, not better. Such stories are completely depressing, and now it seems that you’re ‘past it’ when you reach 30, according to this latest tale of ageist woe. Will the madness ever end?
Hathaway insists that she is already losing roles to younger girls and explained that the shoe is now on the other foot, as it was she who got the pick of the young wan parts not so long ago. “I can’t complain about it because I benefitted from it,” she told Glamour. “When I was in my early twenties, parts would be written for women in their fifties, and I would get them. And now I’m in my early thirties, and I’m like, ‘Why did that 24 year old get that part?'” she said.
It seems even winning an Oscar can’t protect talented actresses from being stigmatised, but Hathaway doesn’t waste too much energy being bothered by it. “I was that 24-year-old once, I can’t be upset about it, it’s the way things are.”
“All I can do right now is think that thankfully you have built up perhaps a little bit of cachet and can tell stories that interest you and if people go to see them you’ll be allowed to make more,” she added.
Of course, it isn’t just those starlets in their thirties (their thirties people) that are getting the axe from the silver screen in favour of twenty-somethings; this goes right down the line. Beautiful, inspiring actresses who are only in their 40’s and 50’s (nowhere near ‘past it’) are simply not being offered prime roles, or as is often the case, any roles at all. Kristin Scott Thomas (one of our all-time favourites) has been very vocal about the incessant rage she feels about this blatant ageism. It is, she said previously, “a total sh*t-show in Hollywood, a complete disaster.”
“I won’t bore you with all the stories of older women not getting jobs in film because it’s so boring. But it’s true – it’s a disaster. And it’s never going to change. Until the average lifespan is 150 years or something, I don’t think women in their 50s are going to be considered at all viable,” she said. Thomas admitted that she was forced to veer away from the Hollywood scene to France, where she felt there were more varied film roles on offer for older women (I’ve Loved You So Long and Leaving are two of her finest French performances).
Another equally amazing actress to echo these views is the divine Helen Mirren, who was on point when she said: “Ageism is f**king outrageous.”