Three time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep has recently backed actor Russell Crowe, agreeing that ageing actors and actresses should play roles better suited to their own age.
Playing a witch in the upcoming movie, Into the Woods, the actress was asked at the film’s premiere about her thoughts on Crowe’s statements in regards to Hollywood actors. Crowe told the press how he knew actors and actresses who complain about not being cast to play younger roles, when they begin to get into their 40s and 50s. “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”.
Meryl Streep went on to echo the actors sentiment. “I agree with him. It’s good to live in a place where you are”.
This isn’t the first time that Streep has previously spoken about actresses of an earlier generation being routinely written off at 40, claiming of her own success: “I’m out there on behalf of all the old broads and I’m proud to be there”.
Streep is not the only actress to share thoughts such as these. Oscar winning actress Helen Mirren, now aged 69, is one of the more outspoken advocates for older people on the big screen. The actress uses her fame to regularly protest the ‘drying up’ of roles in film.
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“I’ve seen too many of my brilliant colleagues, who work non-stop in their 20s, their 30s, and their 40s, only to find a complete desert in their 50s, and no work means no income”, said the actress at an awards ceremony in 2010.
“I resent having witnessed in my life the survival of some very mediocre male actors and the professional demise of some very brilliant female ones”.
The recent outburst by Mr. Crowe has shined a light on an important issue within the film industry. Do Hollywood studios produce too many films for younger people? Should there be more films aimed at those aged over 50?
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