Meryl Streep defends Russell Crowe’s stupid, sexist comments: is she wrong?


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Here are some photos of Meryl Streep at last night’s London premiere of Into the Woods. She looks pretty, doesn’t she? I love that brown coat. It’s so swirly and dramatic. Anyway, while Meryl was in London promoting Into the Woods, she was asked about Russell Crowe’s recent comments about older actresses in Hollywood, and how they should just “act their age” and not try to play the ingénue when they’re in their 40s. As I mentioned earlier today, Jessica Chastain called out Rusty on the red carpet for the National Board of Review Awards, and I thought her comments were on-target. Meryl, however, did not leave me inspired. Maybe that’s because Russell name-checked Meryl as one of the actresses doing it correctly. Russell basically said, “If Meryl Streep is still getting parts at her age, why can’t other actresses?” I don’t know, Rusty, is it because Meryl literally gets every part for a woman past the age of 50? So here’s what Meryl had to say:

“The Russell Crowe thing, I’m so glad you asked about [it],” Meryl told the inquiring reporter. “I read what he said—all of what he said . . . [his statements] have been misappropriated . . . what he was talking about. He was talking about himself. The journalist asked him, ‘Why don’t you do another Gladiator, you know, everybody loved that.’ He said, ‘I’m too old. I can’t be the gladiator anymore. I’m playing parts that are appropriate to my age.”

As for his comments denying that actresses have a hard time being cast as they get older Streep suggested that Crowe was simply “proving a point” and that he was generally “talking about himself as most actors do.” After literally waving off his remarks, she continued, “I agree with him. It’s good to live within the place that you are.” Acknowledging the fact that she plays a witch in Into the Woods—after speaking out in the past about how she bristled at being offered similar parts once she hit the four-decade milestone—she defended her choice to take on the character. “This witch [starts out as] a very, very young woman,” she said referring to how she plays the witch at both the “young and beautiful” and “old and ugly” phases of her life. “It was easier to do that. . . to make the transformation,” she added.

[From Vanity Fair]

Oh, Meryl. I think you’re wrong on this. Even given the context – that Russell was at first talking about himself and how he’s “too old” to play certain roles – that doesn’t change the critical flaw in Crowe’s overarching argument. That flaw? That there are simply not that many roles for women in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. That actresses aren’t demanding to play the ingénue into their 40s, it’s just that the ingénue roles are the few female roles being written. That white actors like Russell Crowe are allowed to “act their age” in films for decades while only a handful of actresses (like Meryl!) are allowed to work consistently past the age of 40.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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126 Responses to “Meryl Streep defends Russell Crowe’s stupid, sexist comments: is she wrong?”

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  1. With further thought–I think he’s oversimplifying the problem. He’s talking as though women are treated/thought of/hired the EXACT same way as men are in Hollywood. And they’re not. He’s a man in his fifties, who looks like he’s in his fifties, and doesn’t have a six pack anymore. Because he’s a man. Who is always going to get interesting roles for his age group, and is allowed to look like he’s in his age group.

    Women aren’t. And it travels throughout every aspect of life. One thing I thought of–spanx. We don’t see/hear many men talking about putting spanx under their suits to smooth out any bulges, yet we as women are smacked in the face, daily, with a variety of products/clothing/etc that are supposed to smooth out our bulges, and/or make us look slimmer.

    We’re not allowed to just be.

    • jen says:

      Yeah, I think you’re right

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I agree with you completely. And I don’t mean to turn your articulate thoughts into a shallow conversation – But did you know there were spanx for men? I saw them in Neiman Marcus. It made me so happy.

      • Snazzy says:

        Really? that’s hilarious, and sad, but hilarious :)

      • Lol, NOPE. The only thing I’ve ever heard/saw pics about to compare was this Japanese company making girly underwear for dudes. Like they had these extremely hot Japanese models (who were all muscle-y and gorgeous), wearing hot pink/flowery/bows and EVERYTHING panties cut to fit a dude’s junk…….I giggled for about ten minutes when I saw those.

      • tmot says:

        Undergear (formerly International Male) has had them for years.
        Not that the existence of male foundations garments does anything to address the dearth of good roles for actresses.

    • Tristan says:

      Try being a gay man past 45! You just cease to exist, even if you try hard to maintain a decent body & looks. If women think it is tough being a woman in showbiz, console yourself with the experience of gay actors. You either have to dive deep deep deep inside your closet, or accept very occasional campy roles, like Jack in Will & Grace. Most non camp roles are usually given to straight actors.

      To quote Rupert Everett from his wonderful book Red Carpets & Other Banana Skins:

      “A gay man past 40 becomes officially invisible. The most any queen will do, if you were to set yourself alight in a gay bar, is to lean over & light a fag off you!”

      And:

      “Post Brokeback Mountain most straight actors want to play gay roles. They have stolen the hair dryer right out of my hands!”

      • Misprounced Name Dropper says:

        All part of life my friend. People need to accept it when they’re past their sexual prime and deal with it. Although straight white men have it easier for longer than most in Hollywood.

      • wolfpup says:

        Well, Tritan, I’m not exactly sure of what camp and non-camp mean, but I do see a correlation between a gay man past 40, and a woman past. It seems as though the patriarchal shame game hits the female man man, even earlier. What rotten luck.

        Oh, well, it’s just a bunch a hooey anyway. (And those dudes need to be fought full on, with our best thinking).

    • Birdix says:

      I was at a pool last week and this pudgy, hairy guy was sauntering around with such swagger. And the equivalent middle aged women were hiding under fashionable cover-ups. An imperfect woman with that swagger –would she be respected, or ridiculed?

    • possiblegirl says:

      I’m going to speculate that this comment was directed at his good friend Nicole Kidman, not general to women in Hollywood. Who else completely embodies the 40+ woman trying to play the ingenue and roles outside her age group? Streep is still muddled about his words and wrong about the opportunities, but I think he’s thinking of the female actors HE knows. And in that, he’s right.

      • The Wizz says:

        Exactly. Ready the whole thing it’s very clear to me that he’s directing this to Nicole, who does need to start acting her age rather than continuing to ruin her reputation with being ridiculous.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      It sounded to me like he had no clue as to what he was talking about.

      Women at ANY age only make up 1/3 of all of the characters we see on screen (even for children’s programs) . When women get older, the ratio is even worse.

    • Maxine7 says:

      I think Crowe has an interesting point. I agree with the Nicole Kidman theory regarding who he is talking to so let’s play it out. Now, Kidman is an actress with significant clout however she obviously believes the only way to stay relevant is to try to looks 10-20 years younger than how she looks. What if she just stopped. What if other actresses of her age just stopped but we the people wanted to keep seeing her work. Maybe Hollywood would have to adapt? I think really we the consumer are the problem.

      • wolfpup says:

        In her heart of hearts, does she believe that Keith will adapt? Does she understand that most of us are “almost beautiful” – and that’s enough? If one cares for their body, as their mother did for them as a child, continuing with the joy of the young woman adorning, the understanding of the mother whose body has been given away to an alien, the consequent giving in, to the growing demand for maturity; joy in the day? Does she embrace the little devil, that tells her she is perfect just the way she is, and no one else has to know?

        Women are torn by the requirements of the patriarchy, not those of themselves. Woman and child were the first society; and for the basis of society; and happiness. Remember, when God was a Woman? But woman must be able to speak for herself, to heal others. The time of brutality of over.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “I think really we the consumer are the problem. ”

        I agree. If normal mature women on screen brought the eyeballs, they would be everywhere. I think there is a lot of sexism in how decisions are made in Hollywood, but ultimately, they just want to sell the product they are producing.

        I do think there have been some big gains recently (How to Get Away with Murder, Orange is the New Black) where female characters are being allowed to be mature and still be seen on screen. I think viewers who support these shows get some credit for challenging the status quo and making a statement to those in power.

    • FurballFriend says:

      Agree!

  2. Toby says:

    Meryl is the only actress in hollywood who genuinely isn’t affected by agemism. As much as i love her i feel she is not familiar with this problem.

    • sally says:

      +1 Mark Wahlberg’s new movie has him with 20something Brie Larson.

      I also find it interesting …., how to put this politely…, looks don’t match up for men versus women. In Kevin Hart’s new movie the Wedding Ringer, the male protagonist is an overweight, chump getting married to Kaley Cuoco. Seth Rogan and Katherine Heigel in Knocked Up, etc etc.

      I guess point being, the men can be as old as, short as, fat as, disheveled as…_______ as they want to be and they will always, always be with the beautiful, young woman.

      • wolfpup says:

        This is all about male fantasy, the production of their entitlement, and their definition of womanhood, that we would look well to, if we want one of them.

      • sally says:

        @wolfpup. ugh you’re so right. i really hope this mentality changes one day

    • MaiGirl says:

      Agreed. I’m disappointed that she can’t peer outside her exception-to-the-rule bubble and see how other actresses are having to fight and claw just to get her castoffs. And defending rageaholic Russell Crowe? I don’t get that at all!

    • taxi says:

      Really??
      How about Tilda Swinton, Helen Mirren, Charlotte Rampling, Sally Field, Catherine Deneuve, Helena Bonham Carter, Susan Sarandon?

      • Vava says:

        My thoughts exactly. There are lots of older actresses who find decent work. Maggie Smith, Shirley McClaine in Downton Abby also come to mind.

        I really don’t think Meryl Streep is the exception quite honestly.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Um, Sally Field has talked at length about how she has struggled to find work.

      • I Choose Me says:

        Almost all of these women have talked about ageism in Hollywood and how hard it is to find decent roles. I remember articles with Tilda, Sally and Mirren in particular.

    • Boxy Lady says:

      The story above only alludes to something Meryl said and because it’s merely an allusion and not the quote, it is easy to miss. She said once she hit 40, a lot of the roles she was offered were for witches. So she’s not completely immune. I think she keeps working steadily because she built up so much personal and professional goodwill early in her career.

      Case in point: Last week, I watched a documentary on John Cazale called I Knew It Was You. Cazale was Meryl’s boyfriend before she met her husband. Al Pacino, who worked with Cazale in 3 movies, said in the documentary that when he thinks of Meryl, he immediately thinks of how Meryl took such great care of Cazale during his last days (he died of cancer). Robert DeNiro and Cazale’s brother also praised Meryl for that. People love working with Meryl and it’s not entirely for professional reasons. It would not surprise me if writers and producers actually develop material for her in mind.

  3. Dingo says:

    Yes she is! Pretty sad for a woman i her position.

    • joan says:

      I’m not sure I actually LIKE Meryl any more.

      It’s kind of a given that I’d like her because of her talent and her persona. But maybe she’s just not very nice.

      There are rumors that she sleeps with every guy she can, and this quote makes me wonder if she’s more full of herself than I thought. I sense a lot of ego here.

      Maybe I don’t have to like her.

  4. perplexed says:

    Tracey Ullman’s facial expressions are funny in that clip.

    Meryl was so inarticulate in this clip I couldn’t figure out what she was saying, if I’m honest. I had an easier time parsing out Kayley Cuoco’s statements on feminism.

    • Lilacflowers says:

      Tracey’s facial expressions are everything and Tracey should have been asked what she, as a 55 year old woman who is not Meryl Streep, thinks about Crowe’s comments

      • siri says:

        That was exactly my thought- ask HER! Meryl was diplomatic, and that’s probably one reason she lasted so long as a leading actress- she, too, kisses producer’s a…s. Otherwise, she should know that those 2-3 good scripts a year with interesting female characters are offered to HER, or Mirren. By the way, Meryl almost never says very deep things in interviews, she’s trying to prevent to talk about anything ‘political’ or business-related. She’s clever, and knows how to play the game.

    • Danielle says:

      I dont think I’ve ever watched her in a proper unprepped interview, I’m surprised at how incoherent I find her. I really have no idea what she is saying.

    • Artemis says:

      Meryl was happy about the question and then when she speaks up it’s like ‘oh I read those things, such words…much interesting, the way I read the words and understood them, it’s very…stuff…and yeah Russel is right teehee *trollface*’
      COME ON!

      This makes me want to go back in time and live through the period where moviestars were controlled by the studios and they had this ‘perfect’ image. New Hollywood show their assess every time.

  5. Kiddo says:

    Meryl doesn’t recognize Crowe’s privilege, because she enjoys her own special privilege in Hollywood. She’s sounding a bit like an older Kaley Cuoco here.

    • original kay says:

      this

    • sally says:

      +200

    • M.A.F. says:

      Yep. She was also (and still is) a very pretty woman when she first started out and therefore didn’t have to struggle for the roles.

    • Duckie says:

      Cosign.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yeah, I feel like she’s a little blinded by her own privilege here, and it’s disheartening to hear that she’s not seeing the problem her contemporary actresses face.
      I agree that a 40 year old shouldn’t be trying to play a 20 year old, but Russell is ignoring the fact that there’s not as much else out there for female actresses.

    • kibbles says:

      Meryl seems like a nice and classy lady and I believe that she is quite a talented actress, but I am not surprised that she is out of touch with reality. She is virtually untouchable in Hollywood. In some ways she is overrated. Yes, she is a good actress but I don’t believe she has deserved ever Oscar she has won. There are plenty of other talented actresses who never have the opportunity to win the roles that are handed to Meryl. Her success came from hard work and talent but also a hell of a lot of luck, being a privileged white woman who went to Yale, and being at the right place at the right time in the right era.

      • MaiGirl says:

        I agree. She is nominated for just about every significant role she plays. I was not particularly impresses with the Iron Lady, as a film or as an individual performance, and yet she won because she is Meryl Streep. She did nothing but chew scenery in August, Osage County, but yet another Oscar nod. She’s riding on a lot of past momentum.

      • laughing girl says:

        @ kibbles
        “Yes, she is a good actress but I don’t believe she has deserved ever Oscar she has won.”

        I’m still peeved that Viola Davis didn’t win for The Help, Meryl Streep won that year for playing Maggy Thatcher- it should have been Viola. She was amazing. Is amazing.

        I usually like Meryl but with this she’s far off the mark. Disappointing.

      • wolfpup says:

        Viola Davis is awesome!

    • Amy says:

      I was waiting to see if anyone was going to call her comments out for being Cuoco-esque.

      Let’s face it…Hollywood is run by racist, sexist, ageist fools…and they get plenty of hope from their employees and ‘stars’. Meryl confirmed that for me.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I completely agree.

  6. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Love her, but she’s wrong. Our society isn’t interested in women over 40, which is why there aren’t many movies about them. We “allow” men to be over 40, but they if they have a love interest, she’s usually in her 20s.

    • Tateru says:

      You know I started thinking about Crowe and his privileged stupidity while I was watching a movie called “Still Mine” with James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold. It’s a fantastic film by the way. I thought what the hell happened to Genevieve Bujold? She was always so wonderful and so enjoyable to watch on film. Then I was reminded…Oh yeah…she grew older.
      Rusty just doesn’t see past the end of his own nose. Unfortunately, neither does Meryl it seems.

    • Snazzy says:

      yup, exactly

    • Ginger says:

      Now that I’m out looking for work after my husband’s job transfer I am actually a bit concerned as a 40+ woman whether or not I will be considered because of my age. It’s scary and sad that we have to think of these things but I’ve seen it happen. The hot woman getting hired with little to no experience over someone who is more experienced and educated, that’s happened to me before when applying for a promotional position. The boss told me the reason I didn’t get the position was that the other candidate “outshined” me. Sexism and ageism is very real in the private sector and in Hollywood. For Russell to pretend otherwise shows that he’s out of touch.

      • Snazzy says:

        yes, I have a good friend going through the same thing. She has worked in HR for a long time, she has lots of great experience, but she’s hitting her 50′s so it’s super difficult for her to find work. Instead, younger girls with no experience are getting the jobs (and then screwing up and getting fired …)

      • Erinn says:

        My mom just went back to school for office administration. She’s 55. I worry about her a bit, because she just can’t handle a physical job anymore (couple of knee surgeries) but I worry that there’s going to be much more preferential treatment to the girls who are 19 in the class. She has told me that there are a couple of positions that she’s heard aren’t looking for someone young – they’d feel more comfortable with someone who has years of experience in service industry, so she might be okay as far as that goes.

        I’ve been on her to make sure she has a few places lined up, because I don’t want her to feel like a failure if she doesn’t get the one she really wants. And we’re in a small town, there are a few really obnoxious young girls in the class (I’m 24, I’m talking about some 18/19 year olds who have had no life experience – not that I have a ton) but they’re cute and bubbly and unfortunately, that does factor in when it shouldn’t.

      • Nikki says:

        Wishing you good luck in your job search, Ginger.

      • Peppa says:

        My aunt worked for many years at a bank in their marketing department. The bank was a local Maryland/DC bank and it was bought out by Bank of America and everyone was let go. She pounded the pavement and went on interview after interview, but despite her stellar resume and all the experience she brought with her these places wanted young people in their 20s and 30s. My aunt was 52 and it was pretty clear she wasn’t being hired because of her age. It really stinks, and I truly believe being a woman just added to it (a man in his 50s could be considered worldly).

      • Beatrice says:

        I don’t think ageism affects only women and it may not be the only factor. I know several men over 50 with great resumes who had a very hard time getting a job after being downsized. They didn’t think it was solely their age, but thought the problem was that their experience and past salaries made them much more expensive to hire than someone young. If they were willing to accept less money, companies thought they were risky hires because they would bolt as soon as a better offer came along. Very hard times indeed.

      • Misprounced Name Dropper says:

        @Ginger: On the other hand youth unemployment is waay higher than than the overall unemployment rate.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      GNAT…these older guys in movies who have these young love interest always PISSES ME OFF….but I guess in real-life Hollywood, most of these older actors, actually have YOUNG wives and girlfriends…maybe they think thats the real world…

      • Erinn says:

        It actually weirds me out. It’s slowly getting to the point that the love interests are younger than I am… and I’m not old by any standard. I take MAJOR issue with the Liam Neesons of the world and their super young costar. I’m willing to overlook the 40 year olds with the 25 year olds, but when you’re hitting 50, 60, and you’re dating a 20 year old in your movie – it’s gross.

      • wolfpup says:

        More than gross, it borders on pedeophilia.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Like the last Dirty Harry movies. Clint Eastwood got older and older, but do you think his love interests did? Nope.

      • laughing girl says:

        It’s gross isn’t it. The worst film for age difference is Entrapment, film from 1999 with Sean Connery + Catherine Zeta Jones = he was 69, she was 30. It’s genuinely toe curdling.

      • I Choose Me says:

        @ laughing girl. Don’t get me started. See also that stupid Nicholas Cage + Jessica Biel movie.

  7. Maya says:

    yes she was wrong and I am very disappointed in her.

  8. Jules says:

    That’s why the greatest actress of our ‘generation’ now is a 23-24 year old: Jennifer Lawrence. She will be over the hill at 30. Streep is full of crap.

    • Luca76 says:

      Yes and she’s handed roles that are written for women 10 to 15 years older than she is.

    • laughing girl says:

      I’m one of the few who genuinely like Lawrence but I’m appalled that she’s getting matched up with Bradley Cooper in (many) of her film roles, the guy has a good 10 years+ on her. Also the role in the Silver Linings Playbook was meant to be for an actress in her 30s. Hollywood never goes older when they are casting actress, they always go younger.

  9. Insomniac says:

    I get the impression she was tying herself up in verbal knots to avoid criticizing Russell and setting off some media feud. Still, that was a very disappointing non-response. Jessica Chastain’s response was so much better.

    • perplexed says:

      I’m kind of baffled as to why she would need to avoid criticizing Russell Crowe. She’s so well-respected I figured he’d defer to her authority than throw a phone at her.

      I did wonder if perhaps she didn’t want to offend other male writers and directors.

      • misstee says:

        ‘I did wonder if perhaps she didn’t want to offend other male writers and directors.

        How very 1950′s housewife of her – not calling out obvious discrimination for fear of upsetting some poor mans ego is one of the main reasons Feminism has backtracked about 30 years in the last 5. She is also top of the Hollywood food chain with a lot of power.

        Urgh

  10. Blythe says:

    It’s 7 degrees where I live. I need that coat/blanket/poncho/thingamajig she’s sporting. It looks so comfortable.

    Did anyone really expect anything other than an out-of-touch response from Meryl? Come on.

  11. kcarp says:

    If someone said I was doing something right I wouldn’t come out against them either. With that said Clint Eastwood is 84 years old, I guarantee you if he starred in a movie tomorrow his love interest would be about 40. No one wants to see him romancing Betty White which would be so much more realistic.

    • **sighs** says:

      I think people do want to see that. I just think. Hollywood *thinks* they don’t. One of the best movies I saw last year was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Full of old people, and some of them even got together. It was an excellent film. And I’m only in my thirties. I do not want to see Clint Eastwood get with Jennifer Lawrence. That’s just gross.

      • kcarp says:

        ewww me either. Maybe since Hollywood puts the women out to pasture so to speak maybe we can send the men there too. I know it sounds horrible but essentially that is what they do.

      • lucy2 says:

        I liked that movie too – another one I really liked was the Hundred Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren. It had people of all ages, and (gasp) a cast that was not all white.

    • Snazzy says:

      Ohhh, a Pakistani friend told mine about 100 foot journey, saying it was wonderful! I need to see it :)

      Other than that, agree on all points. I would love to see a movie with Betty White as the love interest! It would be wonderful to watch :)

  12. Kkhou says:

    Love Tracey Ullman!

    I think (I hope) Meryl was trying to make a non comment to avoid “controversy.” I prefer Chastain’s approach…it really isn’t controversial to say women don’t get good roles after 35 or 40, it is just a fact.

    I love Jennifer Lawrence and think she is a great actress, but should she be taking roles meant for women aged 35-36 (silver linings)?

  13. Toot says:

    Whatever Meryl. Loved Tracy’s “is she for real” grimace.

  14. Jess1632 says:

    Is she wrong? As a 30-something Amy Adams gets ready to play Janis Joplin…who died at 27. Neither of them are entirely off base and neither is CB that there just isn’t a lot of intriguing female roles after 40

    Edit: there a lot of female actresses nabbing great roles over 40, 50, 60 in foreign films that I’ve been watching and they have more older female leads.

    • Maum says:

      You’re right Jess. Some of the most talented French actresses around are in their 40s/50s and they have no problems getting roles. Interestingly Kristin Scott Thomas’ film career is now mostly French based. She does theatre and comedy in English and dramatic roles in French (and she is fabulous).

      I do think ageism is a huge issue in Hollywood. Is it because America is more puritanical than Europe and the thought of a middle aged woman having sex is just too traumatic?

      • Peppa says:

        It is a huge Hollywood problem. I agree about there being more interesting roles for older women in foreign films (France is a great example).

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I have always heard that the French are much more accepting of beauty and sexuality in older women than are Americans. I don’t know from personal experience, but have read that several times.

        I’m moving to France.

      • wolfpup says:

        Goodnames: why do we need anyone to accept our sexuality? Perhaps this is the french woman’s secret….

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Lol, Wolfpup, you certainly have a point. I guess we don’t, do we?

      • Snazzy says:

        It is true that the french are much more accepting of age and variations of beauty in general. I live on the border of France and Switzerland and it’s the same here. I am in my late 30′s and I am certainly not skinny or tall and blonde but I never feel bad about it or ugly or whatever. The only time I really feel like crap is when I go back to Canada to visit family and friends and that’s where I start to feel old, not a traditional beauty, etc. It really is a North American problem, I think.

        GNAT, Wolfpup, come visit me! You’ll love it, be sure of it :)

    • Tristan says:

      Amy Adams is 40 years old

  15. MrsBPitt says:

    Older men can get plenty of roles…they have been showing commercials for Taken 3 all week, and I keep thinking, isn’t Liam Neesom in his sixties, and he is STILL kicking ass on these young guys.how stupid….Denzel Washington, was killing much younger guys in the Equalizer…Women would NEVER be allowed to have roles like that in their 50′s and 60′s or even their 40′s…They just don’t make many scripts for middle aged women…and we wonder why these older actresses starve themselves to be skinny, plastic surgery, botox, etc…They know as soon as they start looking their age, they are done!

    • Jayna says:

      Liam’s first Taken was when he was 57 or 56. He thought it was a straight to video movie. He only made like a million dollars or so on the role. He took it because it was in France and he is an ex-boxer and liked the idea of the action. He never gets those roles. Because of the massive success and only because of the success, he began to get offers for those types of roles at the unlikely age of late fifties, sixties. The Grey, although is action is more of an internal study of a man’s will to live or die, was written for a much younger man. After all of Liam’s success and proven box office draw in these types of movies, they changed the character to fit Liam, and they said a younger man could never have brought the world weariness to the role he did, because he was a man who wanted to kill himself before the plane crash and realized it would have been a far different movie not having a man like LIam in the role.

      Liam said older actors above 50 call him all the time, how do you get these roles now, and he says it was just l uck that he became the unlikely action here at this age and is striking while the iron is hot. It’s not the norm for most actors his age. Harrison Ford’s career kind of dried up, as did others.

      • lucy2 says:

        I don’t about Harrison Ford – he’s early 70s, still works quite a bit, and has his 3 biggest action roles all rebooting – Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Blade Runner. I can’t picture anyone offering Zoe Saldana, Scarlett Johanson, or Emily Blunt and action movie when they are in their 70s. Or 60s. Or 50s.

      • Snazzy says:

        lucy2 they need to make an action movie all about Helen Mirren’s character in the Red movies. That would be amazing :)

    • wolfpup says:

      Men rule the world.

  16. Birdix says:

    When dressing, Streep got Into the Woods confused with Little Fur Family.

  17. scout says:

    Meryl is classy and super talented lady, always loved her. But she is wrong here to defend and interpret his words differently. There is no confusion about what he said, pretty straight forward. Jessica C gets it!

  18. mkyarwood says:

    Just cos she’s MERYL doesn’t mean she’s benevolent, or even smart when it comes to today’s feminist issues. I think we’ve heard a lot from older/younger women lately that sounds awful. It’s like only women between 30 and 40 know what feminism means anymore. Don’t jump all over me if you’re outside of that range. It just means you’re the smart exception to this new, disturbing rule.

  19. wolfpup says:

    The underlying problem (it seems to me) is that Hollywood is a business operated by men, and generates cultural ideals (old ones) of the patriarchy, and the writers and scripts to do not go beyond that. Being able to play well in a man’s world, is what Meryl describes when she says, “it’s good to live in the place that you are”.

    I have such high hopes for the generations that are becoming. Every generation changes the world; and when storytellers are selected, some must tell the tales of life, beyond sexuality. That is an important subject, as all species place great value in mating during a great portion of their life; yet I would like stories of survival, from the world of sexuality as has been created it in Hollywood. Perhaps stories that explore more wholesome options (not patriarchy;) or stories that create hero’s that can conquer patriarchal thinking. This world of Hollyworld is not an easy world to occupy for women: not for the artists, nor for the women who look for answers to the real dilemmas, of being a woman in a man’s world.

    The excuse that a woman’s life is less interesting, ignores the fact that half of the world are women; and we are the real heros, after all, truth be told. There has to be a telling that goes beyond what a woman means apart from the male gaze. Every stricture put upon for women, every deterministic space that our bodies are supposed to occupy (beauty myths), every story that says that women do not have a soul as noble as a man’s, these are films that let us down. Gender specific violence (women are more likely to be killed by a boyfriend or husband, than by anyone else), the deletion of the agenda of working-class women, lesbians, and women of color: actually the agenda of women’s humans rights, are not addressed in the culture of male hero adulation. When “Adam” named (defined) woman, he took her right to tell her story; that is, stories of the root of life that is within her (not him). Our storytellers need the art of women stories: let us pay homage to the soul of a woman. These are worth telling, not because “we are worth it”, but because we have stories that must be told to heal the world; stories apart from stereotypical thinking, or turning women into warrior men with big bosoms rocking the enemy.

    Men in general do not protect women. They are born to a class above that is pretty delightful, and who would give up such space? Men do not do this even for their daughters (see Duke of York). This is women’s work that must be done by women – we cannot rely on men to do it, because they have no reason to stop subjugating women. What has been done to stop rape? They love their superior status (and they are human in loving it). Women need to be fierce for ourselves. We are not victims!

    Here’s to the young! Be wild!

  20. Darry says:

    If Goldie Hawn was right about roles for women in “First Wives Club”: Babe, District Attorney, & Driving Miss Daisy, I’d rather watch District Attorney any day, and twice on Sundays. There’d be (good) courtroom drama, power dressing, & boys galore.

    For instance, one of my favourite Meryl roles is from the remake of “The Manchurian Candidate” – Senator Prentiss Shaw . Maybe not the best film ever, but she was ace.

  21. Molly says:

    Meryl is a very smart lady. She wasn’t going to allow some reporter to bait her into a senseless war of words over a Russell Crowe opinion. She answered diplomatically, which is what the pros do, and she didn’t allow herself to be dragged into controversy. There’s a reason she’s had the career that she’s had, and it isn’t because she brings more drama into her life.

    • perplexed says:

      She could have been more articulate in her non-answer though. Although maybe non-answers are hard to articulate…

  22. Jayna says:

    She’s right and wrong. There are actresses who have overdone the plastic surgery and aren’t suitable for roles, who in their quest to look young ruined their careers when they were still busy in their career. When Melanie Griffith did a facelift far too young and looked bizarre, the roles dried up. Look at Lara Flynn Boyle. She was beautiful and destroyed her face. Cher complained about no roles anymore. She said someone in the industry told her flat out it’s because of all the plastic surgery to her face, that she can’t play roles for her age nor for younger. She said, okay, I get it.

    BUT there are not enough roles for women after 45 and that’s just the way it is. So Meryl is missing the boat on that. There’s not enough roles for women under 45. either, but they really dry up after mid 40s. Although, in England, where actresses truly look their age, there seems to be more parts for women of a certain age.

    • lucy2 says:

      You make a very good point about overdone plastic surgery, and it can definitely wipe out a once successful career. Meg Ryan is another example of that.
      The sad part is I’d bet many of the actresses who did that, only did it because of the pressures of looking young in Hollywood. It’s sort of a vicious circle.

  23. Nikki says:

    She IS wrong. It’s very, very tough for older women. Heck, even younger women’s roles are often peripheral. Think of all the actors over 50, not even attractive, with major careers. Now, make the list of actresses. And it drives me crazy that in any married couple on TV shows or movies, the guy can be fat, gray, and wrinkled, but the wife never. Just once, I’d like to see a real woman in something besides a PBS show.

  24. Scarlet Pimpernel says:

    I have to say I agree with both of them. And in non-Hollywood terms it’s like some of my single girlfriends in their 50s now who moan about not finding a man, but when they go online or to speed dating events they only make a bee-line for the 30 something men. Whilst I’m not knocking their taste in men, they have to recognise what it is that they have to offer – experience, hopefully a strong sense of self, grace, confidence, successful careers, learnt from past mistakes etc … and what looks good on them. Trying to compete with 20-30 something women just makes them seem foolish and uncomfortable with who they are, in my view. I’m not saying it can’t work with an age gap but it’s less likely to. Live in the place you are – agree absolutely.

    • Jaded says:

      It’s generally the men who make a bee-line for the 30-somethings in my experience. Look at dating sites – men in their 50s invariably want women in the 25-40 age range, not their own age range. While women, myself included, are more than happy to date men our own age, men seem to think that it enhances their virility and manliness to have a younger woman on their arm.

      • wolfpup says:

        It would be nice if men were taught that character and integrity were the enobling factors that twitter-pate women.

        Perhaps they are just trying to impress other men.

      • snowflake says:

        no,jaded, I know plenty of women who go for younger men. i think mostly because a lot of older men go for younger women, so the women say to themselves, I can do it too. i agree with scarlett. then the women fall for their fling. and are heartbroken when he doesn’t want a relationship. they spend so much energy trying to compete with younger women and look desperate. when they would be so much happier not trying to deny their age and just being confident in who they are.

  25. Jaded says:

    Hollywood has always been and continues to be dominated by men who see women as nothing more than a commodity that can be used for many things *not* involving acting. There are enough beautiful young women who are more than eager and willing to do anything from taking a much lower salary than a man to jumping on the casting couch, and this attitude towards women will perpetuate itself for much longer I’m afraid. These same powerful men have a totally different attitude towards their male actors, they’re mates, they’re pals! Partners in crime! Put a 60 year old in a love interest with a 25 year old? No problem! Makes the man look virile! Put a 50 year old woman (unless it’s Meryl Streep or Sandra Bullock) in a lead role where she’s strong, sexy, maybe has a younger lover? Never, unless it’s a comedy where the woman plays a totally unlikeable, unrealistic, cougar type preying on gormless young men.

    Meryl, sitting in her position at the top of the heap, doesn’t realize how hard it is for talented women who reach a certain age and get pushed off that heap for no better reason than good roles aren’t being written for them and the talent pool is too full as a result.

  26. perplexed says:

    Are the men in Hollywood any more comfortable in their own skin? I thought of that movie with Winona Ryder and Richard Gere when I saw these comments. They really did look odd together. I can’t remember if the movie tanked, but I generally think of him as distinguished looking (sort of — maybe because he’s gone grey?) but next to her he looked ridiculous.

  27. boredblond says:

    Maybe it’s because major studio movies all seem to be targeted toward teenage boys, or those with their sensibilities. Fart jokes, big breasted girls, or comic book violence will be green lighted. Films are judged on opening box office and not made to stand the test of time. Oh, what do I know..I watch tcm and the great actresses of the 30s and 40s made 3 or 4 movies a year and worked till they dropped..not just the stars, but the character actors. They could do this because of great writers -men and women-whose wit and experience wouldn’t fly today. A 20 year old guy would be an office boy then..now he’s given $ to relate his ‘life experiences’ on paper..and the way he wants the world to be is full of hot young things clawing to get to the average schlumpy guy. Sure, I’ll watch Meryl or Emma Thompson..but I’m not the target audience. That’s show biz…

  28. Amy says:

    She reminds me of how I felt when I heard Scarlett Johanson had signed up for the lead role in the U.S. adaption of Ghost In The Shell. A Japanese Anime set in Japan with an all Japanese cast.

    Some people don’t want to see the truth and don’t mind how others are hurting because their plate is stocked and their bellies are full. Meryl isn’t going to criticize the system that has failed other women because it’s kept her career booming. Tbh all that floundering for words sounded like Merly being called on her sht for the first time and flopping.

  29. perplexed says:

    If she had simply said that it would be nice to see more older female stars up on the screen, I don’t really see how that could have offended anyone (i.e Russell, male movie writers and directors, and women).

    Though if Jessica Chasten isn’t afraid of getting into a row with Russell, it’s a little weird to me that Meryl Streep would be afraid of that.

  30. lunchcoma says:

    I’ll join the chorus and say that she’s great but she’s wrong. As a living legend, of course she gets as many interesting, complicated roles as she wants. A couple of other of the most admired actresses do the same.

    I think that where the discrimination comes in is at the level of someone like Bruce Willis, an actor who’s always been popular but never really an Academy darling. He’s still working regularly. Demi Moore and a whole host of other actresses who are reasonably talented but not phenoms are not, or they’re stuck playing “mom” roles. That hurts actresses, but it also hurts audiences, who get to see men represented at a variety of ages and women represented from childhood through early 40s, plus Meryl Streep.

  31. CH2 says:

    oh man… so disappointing :(

  32. CK says:

    Sigh…. I’m just going to give up on my hopes and dreams, and start whittling chairs. I’m not sure if there will be any more seats left to take after this week.

  33. A. Key says:

    But I agree with them!

    I think women today are obsessed with being forever 20-something, and always proving to the world that they’re young and attractive.

    IMO, it’s cringeworthy to see Madonna trying to be Rihanna. I know everyone has the right to do what they want, but if you ask me, 50-year old women vying for the parts for someone who’s supposed to be 20 years younger is stupid and bound to fail.

    Crowe’s right that he’s not gladiator anymore, and Madonna isn’t Rihanna, no matter how hard she tries to be.

    My opinion anyway.

    • jammypants says:

      The reason these women are obsessed with youth is because they come from a world that makes it so, especially for women. They put all their worth in appearing forever young. Madonna is from a different generation. Thankfully this mindset is slowly but surely shifting.

    • perplexed says:

      I think Madonna is a bit of an anomaly though. She has an unusual personality – the amount of fame she has always craved is a bit off the charts. I think there are as many actresses willing to age gracefully as there are others who take the “I must be 25 route”. We just don’t really see them out and about — either they retire or stay out of the spotlight (i.e Isabella Rossellini).

      In the clip above, Tracey Ullmann looks like she’s aged in a normal way but still looks good.

  34. mytbean says:

    This reminds me of Frances Conroy and Jessica Lange in the series American Horror Story – but especially Lange’s characters.

    At first I was impressed with the idea of having such a variety of shapes, colors and ages playing these parts on the regular. But then… The writers are CONSTANTLY having Lange deliver lines that go on and on about the agony and shame of her growing older. It’s the primary focus in so many episodes! It reflects an idea that, with all of her gorgeous sex appeal, aging angst is all Lange has left to deliver to audiences. Is that because the production house thinks that’s what WE as an audience think?

    This also reminds me of Advanced Style… if you haven’t seen the documentary – See it see it see it. It’s amazing! :) http://advancedstyle.blogspot.com/

  35. Jane says:

    I can see his point because he is facing the same problem. Jude Law has said the same thing about himself, he is too old to be cast as the main love interest anymore. It may not be fair, but it is reality. Hollywood is going to go with what brings in the money and that is the bottom line of the whole issue.

    For me there is nothing more jarring than watching a movie or TV show where the person cast is obviously too old to be the character they are playing (or too young for the character). It pulls you right out of the story thus defeating the point of it. Robert Redford pulled this blunder in The Natural. He was too old to play the character, even after he has aged in the story.

    In real life the age thing is just as brutal. Employers want young people because they usually don’t have a lot of experience and they can pay accordingly. The days of people working for long stretches of years, racking up benefits and salary raises for one employer are rare. People work a few years for someone, then move on. The employer keeps hiring newbies to keep their salary cost down. I have at least one friend who had to move from a city that was dominated by a major university. He was laid off and could not find another job in that bustling city because it was flooded with new graduates all the time looking for a job. Nobody wanted to pay him for his years of experience with 25 applicants behind him who could be trained and be paid half of what his experience had brought him at his previous job.

    It always comes down to the bottom line.

  36. wolfpup says:

    For the young, it is important to acknowledge that life is much better for everyone, then even a hundred years ago, and it will be ever more so in another hundred. The ancient mother promises, the valley spirit never fails; work for happy – it works – she is for us!

  37. siri says:

    Meryl is a smart player, always has been. Talent isn’t the only thing you need to last in HW. She doesn’t want to fuel controvery- but actually, this is not, it’s FACTS. If there was ANYONE who would be forgiven for making some critical remarks, it would be her. So, since she didn’t, I hope people start realizing that she really isn’t a saint, or THE most talented one- she just knows how to play the game to perfection. She’s also very competitive, and got used to her status as ‘the one who can do it all’. No, she can’t, Osage County is just one example where she overacted. Imagine that role with Sigourney Weaver, or Jessica Lange. Tracy Ullman’s face said it all, when Meryl was asked, and started to mumble. She’s not supportive of other female collegues, I guess she loves to keep her seat on the throne.