Getting older when you're an actress is no picnic.
When asked about the recent revelation that Maggie Gyllenhaal was not cast in a movie role because she was deemed to old, at 37, to play a 55-year-old man’s love interest, Helen Mirren had the perfect response. Read her view on ageism in Hollywood below, along with that of other top actresses.
‘It’s f-cking outrageous. And ’twas ever thus. We all watched James Bond as he got more at more geriatric, and his girlfriends got younger and younger. It’s so annoying.’ Helen Mirren
‘It is what I never thought would happen when I was in my 20s and 30s, hearing actresses bitch about not getting any work when they turned 50. Now I understand it, it is just different. In a lot of ways, [Hollywood] a very superficial place. It is all about youth and beauty, for women anyway.’ Melanie Griffith
‘I’m not saying movies are the most important thing in the world. I’m not saying that – because the most important thing in the world is youth.’ Ellen DeGeneres (she was joking, obvs)
‘We get covered up, we disappear, not to be seen, because we are no longer young and beautiful and sexually desirable. That’s such a shame because everywhere else in the world they prop older women up on statues and platforms and podiums, saying, “Not only is this a woman who is beautiful, but she has life experience too,”‘ Kim Cattrall
‘You’re so punished in this business. When people say, “Do you think you’ve lost work because of your politics?” I say, “No, You lose work because you get old and fat!” That’s when they write you off in Hollywood,’ Susan Sarandon
‘There aren’t that many good roles for women over 40. A lot of them don’t have much substance, other than being someone’s mother or wife,’ Demi Moore
‘There really is a lot of pressure on actresses to look a strange and unrealistic way. You’re not supposed to age. You’re supposed to be perpetually incredibly attractive because that’s the way the movie world is. You might be 50 but you need to talk 35,’ Patricia Arquette
‘She has observed that women, at least in comedy, are labeled ‘crazy’ after a certain age. The writer has the suspicion that the definition of ‘crazy’ in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to [have sex with] her anymore,’ Tina Fey writing in the third person
‘By the time you’re 28 you’re expired, you’re playing mommy roles. We’re not the ones putting ourselves in those places. We’re allowing ourselves to be put in those positions. I just won’t allow it,’ Zoe Saldana
‘Women, in our society, are compartmentalized so that we start to feel like we’re cut flowers and after a while we will wilt,’ Charlize Theron
‘Once women passed childbearing age they could only be seen as grotesque on some level,’ Meryl Streep