Jessica Chastain slams Russell Crowe: ‘He’s getting his foot stuck in his mouth’


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Because the holiday season was a free-for-all of random gossip, a lot of sites missed out Russell Crowe’s offensive interview in Women’s Weekly just before Christmas. I covered it on December 23rd – go here to read. I’ve seen sites this week, like HuffPo and Us Weekly, run those quotes like they were brand new. Anyway, the timing is just a minor complaint. Maybe those sites just didn’t want Rusty’s stupidity to be forgotten. Crowe told the Aussie magazine that it’s a “myth” that there aren’t any parts (or any good parts) out there for actresses over the age of 40. To Rusty’s way of thinking, ladies in their 40s just whine all the time because they’re not being hired to play ingénues. Nevermind the fact that the ingénue roles are pretty much the only roles being written for women these days. Very few people other than bloggers and tweeters slammed Rusty. But Jessica Chastain dared to throw down at the National Board of Review Awards:

According to Jessica Chastain, Russell Crowe simply doesn’t get it. The 37-year-old actress blasted the Australian actor for controversial comments he made last month when he declared that female actresses over 40 have just the same opportunities as men the same age or older.

“I think he’s getting his foot stuck in his mouth,” Chastain bluntly told reporters Tuesday at the National Board of Review awards gala in New York City, before picking up a best supporting actress award for her role in A Most Violent Year.

Crowe, 50, drew criticism for comments he made to The Australian Women’s Weekly in December, telling the magazine, “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.”

“If you are willing to live in your own skin, you can work as an actor,” he added. “If you are trying to pretend that you’re still the young buck when you’re my age, it just doesn’t work.”

Chastain, meanwhile, firmly disagrees.

“I think there are some incredible actresses in their 50s and 60s that are not getting opportunities in films,” said Chastain. “And for someone to say there are plenty of roles for women that age – they’re not going to the movies enough.”

[From People]

Yep. Jessica has been talking more and more about Hollywood sexism over the past year, and she’s got a history of making on-point comments about everything from Scarlett Johansson needing her own Marvel franchise to pointing out that Meryl Streep is basically the only “older actress” working consistently. I like that Chastain isn’t afraid to call out Russell Crowe. He needs to be called out, because his comments were totally ridiculous.

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59 Responses to “Jessica Chastain slams Russell Crowe: ‘He’s getting his foot stuck in his mouth’”

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  1. Insomniac says:

    I’m not a big fan of hers, but that response was spot on.

    • Yeah. I really liked Jessica Chastain when I saw her in The Help, but I don’t know–she just kind of wore me out afterwards. I don’t know why. I saw her in Zero Dark Thirty, and I didn’t think she (or the movie) was all that good–at least not Oscar worthy. And I guess I’m alone in thinking that A Most Violent Year looks really boring–from the trailer, at least.

      • MrsBPitt says:

        VC…Totally agree with everything you said…I thought Zero Dark Thirty was so over rated. And I couldn;t believe she was up for Best Actress Oscar. I thought she was terrible in that movie. She was good in Interstellar, but this new movie, AMVY, looks like a snoozefest!!!!!

        And Russell Crowe is an ASS!!!!!

      • @Mrs.Pitt
        I’m so glad I’m not the only one. Through discussions on here, I started watching the Oscar contender trailers….and *whispers it* I thought the Birdman looked boring as hell. I love Keaton, but that movie is not something I would run out and see or rent.

        And the ONLY reason why I even remember much of anything from Zero Dark Thirty was because one of my uncles was watching it with me–and he was in the army (just retired)–and he kept smirking/laughing through the interrogation scenes (because that was his job in the army)–which kinda creeped me out, because if you ever saw my Uncle, he is like the embodiment of Phil Coulson, looks-wise. Completely mild mannered, and my aunt has him on a leash, lol (he loves it/her).

    • Debbie says:

      Agreed there is something about her I don’t like, although i think she is talented. But this comment and her no fear approach in calling this out is impressive.

    • Babalon says:

      Makes me like her more.

      • LeAnn Stinks says:

        Guess I am in the minority, I love her.

        She comes from humble beginnings, seems to have a good head on her shoulders, is not a drama queen, Julliard trained and by all appearances, and interviews I have read, seems to be a class act.

  2. Snazzy says:

    Good for her. I’m glad someone within ‘the establishment” called him out on his crap

  3. Sixer says:

    I’m guilty of seeing Chastain as faux-humble and insipid in the past. So y’know. Sorry, Jessica. I got you wrong and I’m liking you more and more.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      She comes across as quite sensible when she talks about an actual issue other than herself.

      • Sixer says:

        Maybe that’s why she’s rubbed me up the wrong way a few times?

      • Lilacflowers says:

        She does talk about herself and shopping a lot.

      • lunchcoma says:

        I think the problem with her is that she’s probably quite boring as a person, so there’s not much for her to say about herself that won’t come across as irritating. I agree a sensible person emerges when she has something specific to talk about.

    • Jegede says:

      She’s faux humble to me as well.

      I can’t take her seriously because of her utter desperation for an Oscar.

      That’s what seems to drive her more than personal love for the work

      I know every actor wants one but Jessica’s antics during awards season are legendary!

      • Oooh, what’d she do? I don’t really follow her.

      • Jegede says:

        Well one thing was her 2014 movie – “Miss Julie”

        When it was a critical and commercial flop she snubbed local premieres and switched her attention to Interstellar.
        The Oscar buzz immediately became about her getting a supporting nom for Interstellar and Miss Julie was put in the back burner.

        She distanced herself from the end product of her own work once she saw she was not getting the acclaim she felt was inevitable, and immediately moved on to one which she could sell for awards buzz.

        She goes on and on about only being in it for the art, not fame, but attends almost every fashion event going and is hustling BIGTIME for a Marvel role.
        She should just own her thirst.

  4. lisa2 says:

    I thought Meryl’s response was kind of in support of what he said.. I can’t remember exactly what she said and don’t have time to look yet.. but maybe someone else remembers.

    I guess it is his opinion. Doesn’t mean it is right. Hollywood is not going to change until people stop supporting films or supporting films that either mirror what you think they should or not.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      I wanted to hear Tracey Ullman’s response. Her facial expression when the question was put to Meryl was priceless.

    • Sixer says:

      I saw Streep on a British TV interview saying that he was partially quoted – he was talking about his own chances of scoring roles and saying that he wasn’t trying to play decades younger like some older male actors yet there was still work for him. The remark he made about female actors was an aside to that rather than his main point.

      Streep felt that he was therefore misquoted and his main point (about himself) stood.

      SIGH.

  5. Rachel says:

    Meryl Streep apparently defended Crowe’s comments.

    • Yep; couldn’t believe she did either.

      And the funny thing is, imo, is that Russell Crowe should be glad he’s not a woman, because he can’t act, and the only thing he had going for him in Gladiator was everything below the neck. YES I SAID IT. He is not hot, and God did he think he was…. If he was a woman, he’d have aged out of those ingenue roles quick and in a hurry….

      • Sixer says:

        I liked him in Romper Stomper and the 3.10 to Yuma remake…

      • The young and the Restless says:

        Maybe you should read everything both said. The entired Russell’s statement and why Meryl defended him.

        You know press only grab a single quote from the whole article to get it out of proportion and put them against each other.

      • minx says:

        Oh, I certainly think he can act. The Oscar that he won for Gladiator, though, wasn’t really deserved. He should have won for The Insider, which he did the year before that, or A Beautiful Mind, which he did the year after. He was also very good in Master and Commander and a few others.

      • Kitten says:

        I find him only “ok” as an actor myself.

    • Snazzy says:

      Did she really? What did she say?

    • I Choose Me says:

      What did Meryl say? Nvm, I’ll Google.

  6. Norman Bates' Mother says:

    She’s absolutely right but I think that the reason not many outlets called him out on those idiotic words is that most people are used to his foot-in-the-mouth syndrome. Russel Crowe has been an out and proud douche for a long time and no one expects anything more from him. If someone respected and liked like e.g. Hugh Jackman, Christoph Waltz or Daniel Day-Lewis said something like that, there would be much more of an outrage. Crowe, Mel Gibson, Kirstie Alley et al. can say anyting and people will be like: “Eh, that idiot again, why bother?”

  7. Maya says:

    Meryl defended Russell and I am disappointed in her.

    I lost some respect last year when she made that speech about Walt disney and cleverly ensured that Emma Thompson wasn’t nominated for an Oscar as a result.

    Now I have lost more respect as she is not in the same situation as other women who are in the 30s – upwards age group.

    She is freaking Meryl Streep and can get any movie and role she wants. She is one of the few remaining female actresses alongside Angelina Jolie who can command high salary and any scripts amongst the male dominated world.

    She of all people should understand the games that are played behind the scenes by men.

    Shame on you Meryl.

    • Andrea1 says:

      I am sorry but I totally disagree with you. Actresses don’t want to give up the young roles why do you think they are desperate to stay young? With lots of plastic surgery and botox.. though hollywood is also guilty of not creating roles suitable for women from age 40 and above if its not a biopic then its mummy roles but then Russel Crowe isn’t wrong at all.. I know I might be in the minority. And yes Meryl streep is right I love what she said..

      • Renee28 says:

        Actresses are desperate to stay young because the roles for women 40+ are few and far between. If they get plastic surgery to try to look younger there are more options but then they get ridiculed for not accepting their age. They can’t win.

    • lisa2 says:

      I don’t know if it is really true that Meryl can get any role/script she wants. I also wonder if she is getting that high of a salary. I know she is an amazing actress; but most of the roles she has gotten are not ones that one would consider in direct competition with the men. Meryl’s scripts have been pretty catered to her and her specific age. I think people assume that Meryl working means she has a lot of power in Hollywood and I don’t actually see that to be true. I don’t know. I said in another post that I would have liked her and others to be more up front about producing or getting more films about women of a certain age out there and not waiting for those scripts to just come to them but develop them.

      I think she has her opinion and it is her right to feel that way.

  8. alreadyready says:

    Great statement!
    But, please, as customers of this industry, we should not forget that we influence the choices they make by going (or not going) to watch their movies (most of them being forgettable cr@p, by the way).

  9. Pandora says:

    Now, I wonder if Russell Crowe is the actor Jessica Chastain was talking about in a Q&A with Oscar Isaac.

    The interviewer asked them about their worst audition and Jessica talked about a famous actor who was awful with her. He didn’t want to talk to her, only quoting Shakespeare (because she was in a play) and humiliating her in front of everybody. At the end she didn’t want to kiss him on the mouth (for the audition) and was just ready to go. A lot of people said it could be Robert Downey Jr because Marvel wanted her in Iron Man 3.
    She seems so sweet and shy in interviews, I’m a little surprise she is the one to call him out. She is awesome, he absolutely deserves it. She is a talented and smart women, I like that she is very vocal about the misogyny in hollywood and the medias.

  10. Bea says:

    She has a point but so does Russell. I think it’s a vicious circle: Women in Hollywood are used as props and good female roles are hard to come by, hence the obsession with youth and trying to play the pretty young thing when you’re 40. Unfortunately for these women, at some point it gets hard to take a bionic woman of 40 seriously and at that point women who embrace ageing have a better shot at moving forwards with their careers BUT it’s a ridiculously slim chance compared to the opportunities presented to men. On the other hand as a woman who consistently lied about her age Chastain is not doing her cause any favours.

    • miriam says:

      It’s more the fault of the industry treating women over 40 as though they shouldn’t exist. The reason there aren’t enough parts for women is because they are not being written. This then forces some actresses to cling on to their youth, otherwise they won’t get hired.

    • Andrea1 says:

      @Bea I completely agree with everything you said! I already said something similar up thread. And reading the whole of Russell’s interview it makes sense. The media did what they know how to do best, twist things! What he said in my own opinion made a lot of sense. And I also love Meryl’s reply too…

      • Bea says:

        @miriam I absolutely agree with you but I also believe that waiting around for scripts that will probably never be written is not very proactive. I have been thinking about this for a while, off the top of my head, as one of the most powerful women in HW Angelina Jolie could have produced and directed a movie about a woman but she chose to tell the story of Louis Zamperini. I have no idea who LZ is, and this might be my ignorance, but a simple google search gives me the names of women who have stories that are no less worth telling. (http://mentalfloss.com/article/29219/11-women-warriors-world-war-ii)

        I think we can’t blame Hollywood men for being sexist and not writing good female characters when even women seem more interested in male driven stories.

        Jessica Chastain is clearly very talented and has built herself an enviable career. She is one of the few women in Hollywood who actually trained to act, instead of transitioning from modelling and I think she will always find interesting projects because of that but I also think that all women should branch out and create their own opportunities instead of being on the lookout for good parts. If Batfleck can do it, why not Chastain?

        @Andrea1 yes his comment didn’t sound this obnoxious in context.

      • Anne tommy says:

        I got into trouble before when providing some views on this issue but what the heck…random caps syndrome again…
        Hollywood generally values women’s looks more than their other contributions, or At Least their other contributions are inextricably viewed through the prism of their looks. It does this with men to some extent but not as overtly.
        Hollywood provides proportionately fewer strong roles for older women.
        Hollywood is to a large extent reflecting the wider world. I am an older women, and these attitudes are unfortunately prevalent in many areas of life. Older women’s personal and professional contributions tend to be more marginalised and disrespected than those of men of the same age.
        It is somewhat dismissive of other older women’s good performances to take the “there’s no one else but Meryl” view.
        European films, especially French ones, provide more strong roles for older women.
        Consumers of films have leverage.
        Russell is a fine actor and I still find him sexy.
        Jessica is a fine actor / actress and I think she’s gorgeous.
        That’s all I’ve got. A bit random. No instant solutions. If the views of the wider community were to change, I expect Hollywood would follow.

      • @Bea
        I agree with your point about Angelina…it also speaks to the studio system. She chose that project because it was one in a long list of projects acquired by Universal. I guess we’ll never know if any female projects like that were on the list, but at the very least it tells us that stories about women, like that aren’t valued. I read a book on female operatives/spies during WWII that was SO fascinating…there were so many different ‘types’..one was codenamed Madeline, and she was amazing at coding and decoding messages in the thick of the moment; just a real think tank, while there was another woman codenamed Lily, who looked like a blonde, perfect princess, and spent her days seducing German officers in France……yet those stories aren’t ever told.

        And the info from the Sony leak–Angelina was trying to tell a story about Cleopatra’s power. Not about how sexy she was, and how she held men under her thrall….yet Rudin didn’t want to hear that. He wanted to do the same old “OMFG, let’s roll Cleo out of a carpet, with her sexy face on!” movie…AGAIN. I do hope that if she keeps going with directing, that she’ll go into more female oriented movies (although her first film WAS female oriented)…but maybe she wants to build her cred up first.

        As a side note, because of The Piano, I’ve been in love with Jane Campion for FOREVER.

      • Bea says:

        @Virgilia Coriolanus
        The book sounds awesome, I’d love to know it’s name.

      • Anne tommy says:

        Bea, good reviews last year for ” The Women who spied for Britain” by Robyn Walker

  11. scout says:

    Yeah, you tell him Jess! He needs some good barby ribs in his mouth stuck vertically.

  12. Hickup the second says:

    Nope, I think both are kind of right.
    Crowe is certainly right to say that a 45-year-old shouldn’t really expect to be cast for a role of a 20-year-old.
    Chastain on the other hand is certainly right to point out that due to the lack of roles for 45-year-olds many actresses of this age “broaden” their approach and try to apply for jobs they might be too old for.

    I think there are too many romantic comedies and chick lit movies. More comedies like Keaton / J.Nicholson in Something’s Gotta Give or Keaton in Mad Money would be nice.
    And more roles / movies who have STRONG women. I am so sick of seeing the beautiful chick supporting the hero. We really need more movies who rely on strong women like Ridley Scott’s Alien movies. I am really excited to see how Prometheus II will turn out and if E. Shaw / Rapace will be the strong lead in the movie though probably standing next to a strong male lead David / Fassbender.

  13. I Choose Me says:

    Glad she said something and was not afraid to do so. Sit your ass down Mr. Crowe!

  14. Ginger says:

    I’m more than happy to hear from the “other side” of this equation. Jessica should know since she’s an insider and a top billed actress.

  15. Miss M says:

    A very talented actress who worked really hard to be where she is and had to lie about her age to get roles. Once she was established, someone announced her age to the whole world… She knows what she is talking about.

  16. Ann says:

    Well, maybe Russell Crowe should act HIS age and start casting women as old as him as his love interests and not women much younger.

    Same goes for every aging actor whose love interests keep getting younger. See Johnny Depp. I for one avoid movies like that like the plague.

    • jinni says:

      It’s the casting directors, producers, studio heads, and directors that have more say over who gets a role than the actors themselves. Most actors work with whoever they are paired with and have no control over who they work with. Every once in a while you may have an actor that fights to get a certain person to work in a movie they are doing, but they are also running the risk of getting a rep for being pushy or a diva who is demanding or hard to work with, which could jeopardize their chances at getting future roles. So, I don’t think you can really blame Crowe or Depp for being cast against young actresses and the powers that be are the ones that have final say on the casting of movies.

      • Hickup the second says:

        I think the likes of Brad Pitt or George Clooney can influence the casting and support an individual actor. I am not sure R.Crowe has such a lot of influence. I guess J.Depp might have such influence.

    • Hickup the second says:

      Tell actors like Depp and Crowe that a much younger woman makes them look OLD by contrast – and see their on-screen paramours will get older ;-)

    • jammypants says:

      I just watched Edge of Tomorrow and realized Emily Blunt is 20 years younger than Cruise. And these old farts think women complain about nothing.

      I’m so glad the new James Bond movie will feature an older woman.

  17. Molly says:

    RME. She would know about sticking her foot in her mouth.

  18. Naomi says:

    Nevermind what she said. Look at those lips!
    I need that colour. Who knows what that lipstick is??

    (she’s a smart cookie. RC is an ass.)

  19. KatyD says:

    She’s so brave to tell Crowe to shove it. Even Streep caves in to Hollywood’s blatant sexism, which is so sad to see. Jessica has been really vocal about supporting women in film for awhile now. She’s got guts to do that. Most actresses aren’t brave enough to criticize Hollywood for fear of a backlash. Women are expandable in Hollywood, which is really sad.

    Love her and wish her the best! She comes from my hometown–Sacramento–and I’ve never heard anything but nice things about her. She’s a class act!

  20. Jess says:

    I’ve seen her interviews, this one is quite catty. Would’nt want her for an enemy.

  21. feebee says:

    Look, fair play to Jessica for calling him out but Russell’s been a first class dickhead all his life and pretty much everyone knows it.