Despite the complaints of some of her peers over the lack of roles for older women in Hollywood, Nicole Kidman says it is still possible for older actresses to see success in the film industry.
Former Academy Award-winner Kidman, 45, held up the example of Emmanuelle Riva, who at 86, received an Oscar-nomination at this year’s awards for her role in Amour.
“I love that… That's glorious. That says something great about the longevity of an actress's career,” she tells the Radio Times. ”Everyone always says 'oh, they only have a shelf life of 40 years' and you look at that and you go 'no way'.“
Despite her next role coming as Grace Kelly in Grace of Monaco, Kidman says she will focus on character parts rather than lead roles.
“My desire, particularly now as I get older, is to play character roles,” she said. “The Paperboy is a character role and so is Stoker, and Grace of Monaco. And it's a great thing being a character actor - the leading lady thing is fine but the interesting stuff is the character parts.”
“I'm not good when I have to be the girl next door… the more extreme the better in a way.”
In the past the likes of Faye Dunaway and Goldie Hawn have complained of ageism and sexism in the film world, while Dame Helen Mirren has put the perceived bias against older actresses down to the fact that Hollywood “continues to worship at the altar of the 18- to 25-year-old male and his penis.”
“I've seen too many of my brilliant colleagues who worked non-stop through their 20s, their 30s and their 40s, only to find a complete desert in their 50s,” she said, but also added that “the attitude to women is changing massively.”