Jessica Lange has addressed the dearth of roles conveying sexuality available to older women in Hollywood.
The American Horror Story actress, 66, has amassed two Oscars, five Golden Globes and a host of other acting awards for her performances in theatre and film in a career spanning 40 decades. But in an industry where ageism is rife, many women find their work becomes increasingly restricted on screen to mothers and wives as they grow older.
Lange has undertaken four roles in American Horror Story; a housewife, a nun, a coven leader and a freak show boss – all characters she says have allowed her to explore sexuality on screen.
“For me, the most interesting part of a character is their sensuality,” Lange told Dazed magazine. “I can still play a very sensual, very sexual character at this point in my life. I haven’t been completely written off!
“The characters Ryan Murphy made for me are vital and have a very interesting relationship with the sexual world. You don’t see that very often for women in their 50s – certainly not for women in their 60s.”
The issue of sexuality and ageism was recently tackled in a sketch by Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Patricia Arquette, who celebrated their “last f**kable day” in a parody of the gender discrimination apparent in some film roles.
British actress Kristen Scott Thomas also condemned the lack of women aged 50 and above as a “disaster” for film and gave a bleak outlook on how soon it could change.
"Until the average life-span is 150 years or something, I don't think women in their 50s are going to be considered at all viable. I think that's what it is," she told BBC One. "Sorry."Reuse content