Age may be only a number. But in Hollywood, it’s a number that reflects a totally BS double criterion between men and women.
Just ask Kate Beckinsale.
The actor sat down with Chelsea Handler on the comedian’s Netflix talk show alongside “Transparent” creator Jill Soloway and actor Niecy Nash to discuss current roles for women in the industry. During their chats which garnered attention online for Nash’s excellent explanation of why diversity goes far beyond “black and white” Beckinsale brought up a particularly absurd doubled standard she experienced firsthand on the situate of her new film.
In “The Merely Living Boy in New York, Beckinsale’s character has sexual relationships with both a 21 -year-old( played by Callum Turner) and his father( Pierce Brosnan ).
The public’s response to each relationship tells a lot about how we view gender, age, and romance on-screen, Beckinsale told Handler.
“Women on television are doing different things, ” Handler said to the actor. “In your movie, youre having an affair with a 21 -year-old.”
“And his father, ” Beckinsale, 44, interjected to cheers from the audience.
Beckinsale continued 😛 TAGEND
“The thing I procured funny about it was, in that movie, Im having an affair with a married man, whos Pierce Brosnan. They get paparazzi pictures of[ me and Brosnan] shooting theyre like, ‘Wouldnt they make a lovely couple in real life? ‘ And actually, they made a big deal out of the[ 21 -year-old performer] being very young. But hes 16 years younger than me, and Pierce is 21 years older than me. And I guessed, thats really interesting, because nobody bats an eye about the age gap that way. You can be a 90 -year-old man, everybody goes, ‘go for it.'”
Beckinsale’s experience reflects a much greater issue facing Hollywood’s leading dames.
Movie executives are far more comfortable pairing younger women with( much) older humen than they are with the reverse.
Just yesterday, a trailer for the new movie “Mother! ” raised eyebrows, as viewers realise Jennifer Lawrence, 26, was playing the love interest of Javier Bardem, 48, in the horror film.
The scariest part of the Mother! trailer is the age difference between Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem.
Alexandra Voyage (@ allievoyage) August 8, 2017
This doubled standard has been the status quo for decades, with few signs of significant progress on the issue.
In 2015, a casting decision affecting actor Maggie Gyllenhaal( “The Dark Knight, ” “Donnie Darko”) attained waves for its overtly sexist implication.
“I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55, ” Gyllenhaal explained to The Wrap. “It was astounding to me. It made me feel bad, and then it stimulated “i m feeling” angry, and then it made me laugh.”
Gyllenhaal’s experience, although frustrate, is not a rarity.
This doubled criterion isn’t simply obnoxious it has real ramifications, too.
Most leading roles are for men. So, too often, talented women are pigeonholed into playing the love interest or some other role revolving around the male lead instead of telling their own character’s stories.
Because Hollywood generally prefers younger women in love interest roles, this limits the already limited opportunities available for women as they grow older, exacerbating the problem and affecting their paychecks. It’s in part why Hollywood tends to categorize women into either “young and hot” or “old and dowdy” characters a binary that doesn’t exist for their male equivalents.
Maybe age genuinely is just a number. But when it’s a number that affects possibility and incomes, we all should care about righting an industry wrong.
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