Russell Crowe: Older women should stop expecting to 'play the ingenue' in Hollywood

Crowe claims Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren prove there are plenty of roles for older actresses 

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Russell Crowe has decreed that female actresses of a certain age should understand why they are not being cast as 21-year-old characters, and called the argument that there are not enough roles for older women in Hollywood “bulls**t”.

In an interview with the Australian Women’s Weekly magazine, Crowe, 50, said women should instead follow the examples of actresses Meryl Streep and Dame Helen Mirren, whom he claims have proved a thousand times over that Hollywood gives roles to people “in all 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.”


Unfortunately for Crowe, he has decided to name-check two female actresses who have spoken publicly about the lack of roles for women past the age of 50 in Hollywood.

Streep once said she is “out there on behalf of the old broads,” while Mirren, when accepting an award at the Women and Entertainment Awards in 2010, told the room: “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”.

Junkee found that the majority of male characters in film and TV are aged between their 30s (27 per cent) and 40s (31 per cent).

In terms of gender representation in  film and TV, women only accounted for 30 per cent of roles in the top grossing films of 2013, and female characters were found to be younger than their male counterparts, according to a diversity report, entitled ‘It’s a man’s world’.