Anne Hathaway is already being stung by Hollywood ageism, aged 32

The Oscar winner accepts that she once benefitted from the film industry's attitudes

Jess Denham
Friday 04 September 2015 16:38 BST
Anne Hathaway is already losing older roles to younger actresses
Anne Hathaway is already losing older roles to younger actresses

It's pretty clear by now that Hollywood is a sexist, ageist place to be an actress, but Anne Hathaway probably wasn't expecting to feel its sting as young as 32.

The Oscar-winning star of Les Miserables has been left wondering why newcomers eight years her junior have been beating her to older roles, but knows that she once used the film industry's favouritism of rising stars to her advantage too.

"I can't complain about it because I benefitted from it. When I was in my early twenties, parts would be written for women in their fifties and I would get them," she told Glamour. "Now I'm in my early thirties and I'm like, 'Why did that 24-year-old get that part? I was that 24-year-old once. I can't be upset about it, it's the way things are."

Anne Hathaway with Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables
Anne Hathaway with Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables

Hathaway insists that instead of letting Hollywood's attitudes get her down, she remembers that she has experience and a solid reputation on her side.

"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 said.

Hathaway's tone seems more resigned than that of older actresses who have recently spoken about ageism, including Helen Mirren, Emma Thompson and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the latter of whom was deemed too old at 37 to play a 55-year-old man's lover.

Thompson was asked by Vulture earlier this week what she thought of older men dating much younger women in films. "The age thing is insane. It was ever thus," she said. "I remember saying years and years ago, when I was 35, that they'd have to exhume somebody to play my leading man. Nothing's changed in that regard. If anything, it's got worse.

"I remember someone saying to me that I was too old for Hugh Grant, who's like a year younger than me, in Sense and Sensibility. I said, 'Do you want to go take a flying leap?"

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