Jamie Denbo, 43, was told she is ‘too old’ to play the wife of a 57-year-old

New York Premiere of "The Heat"

This story reminded me of that Maggie Gyllenhaal story from 2015. Maggie said, in an interview, that she was told she was “too old” to play the wife of a 55-year-old man in a movie. At the time, Maggie was 37 years old. It absolutely sucks and I absolutely encourage more actresses to come forward about their casting horrors. Anyway, Jamie Denbo is probably best known as a comedic character actress in various films like The Heat and practically every TV show ever. She also plays Ginsberg on Orange is the New Black. Well, Jamie took to Twitter a few days ago to describe her own terrible experience. She is 43 years old and she was told she is too old to play the wife of a 57-year-old. She was told she is too old to play the mother of an 18-year-old. Some tweets:

She also pointed out that “the real wife of the 57 year-old actor is EASILY AT LEAST 50. But this f–ker wants to be tv married to a 38 year-old -TOPS.” She ended her tweet-storm with: “Old white men, enjoy your last run. We are all f–king done with you lizards.”

Yes, this is gross. There is something so appalling about actresses MY AGE or just a little bit older who are now going up for second-tier roles as “supportive wife and mother to a teenager”... and they’re being rejected for those roles because they’re too old. Ugh.

U.K. film premiere of 'The Heat' held at the Curzon Mayfair - Arrivals

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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74 Responses to “Jamie Denbo, 43, was told she is ‘too old’ to play the wife of a 57-year-old”

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  1. QQ says:

    Never heard of her before but on the Strength of “Old white men, enjoy your last run. We are all f–king done with you lizards.” I’m Gonna check her out (to make sure she can be my Galentine, but You know some of your Fair Compatriots and “Feminism Means you Black Women Gotta Stop Complaining” /I Dont See Color/ All Lives and such

    • Bridget says:

      You should watch her scenes in The Heat.

      • doofus says:

        is she the gf of one of MM’s brothers?

        those scenes are HILARIOUS.

        “ah you a nahk?”

      • Bridget says:


      • KB says:

        That’s a terrible photo of her at the top. I didn’t think I knew her until I saw the photo with her hair down and then I was like “oh! I know her!” She’s very funny!

      • BTownGirl says:

        Love her!! If you guys aren’t familiar with The Real Housewives Of South Boston on YouTube…go get familiar and thank me later! 😉

    • Backstage Bitchy says:

      Yes! She’s the one that ad-libbed “Are you a boy or a girl?” Funny, funny lady. She’s a real H’wood pro— she writes, collabs with other funny ladies, regularly does improv around LA at UCB and other spots. @QQ, she’s the real deal. You can like her!

  2. Bridget says:

    Ah yes. Someone wants to join the ‘Middle Aged Man with a hot wife who would never even ask him to mow her lawn in real life’ club. #seemslegit

  3. I tweeted at her yesterday about this. My husband is 57 (about to be 58 next month). I’m 54 and we have three children. My daughter is 19 (about to be 20 in June) and two sons, 15 and 13. I had our daughter at 34 and my sons at 39 and 41. No problems conceiving any of our children. No problems with any of my pregnancies and my sons were home water-births.

    Hollywood knows nothing about the real world. Only their misogynistic dream world where average looking 57 year old men are lusted after by 20-something gorgeous women.

    • Kiki says:

      @Sherry Phillips. First off, I want to say “Congratulations on a very happy marriage and a wonderful family” anyone like myself would want that. Secondly I agree with you on that one… These older men are so outdated and disgusting of their misogyny that they would dream about screwing women at their peaks.

      Jami Denbo is right… their time has run out and I am glad she called them out.

    • Mike says:

      Because Hollywood is run by very average looking 57 year old men.

      • Reigntrue says:

        Don’t forget these pot-bellies
        Lizards looking at an attractive middle-
        Aged woman and stating “you look great
        for your age”! Ugh.

  4. Lucky Charm says:

    OMFG! At 57, he’s almost old enough to be her father! And that isn’t too old to be parent of an 18 year old, but 43 is? Ageism and misogyny are still alive and well in Hollywood, I see.

    • Boodiba says:

      And in the working world, especially “talent and acquisitions”, as well.

    • INeedANap says:

      Yeah that’s a hidden point here — at 57, he would have been 39 when he had that child. That’s not unheard of but is older than average, a delay that should be explained in-show to make sense.

  5. lily says:

    and also its time for women stop being insecure about their age. Like when some lady feels sad about getting old- like what the hell? It is just a number, what is so embarrassing about it?! sheesh and the sttupid line- don’t ask a lady’s age. -_-

    • PennyLane says:

      Is this a joke?

      The woman featured in this post just lost a job because she was considered ‘too old’ at 43, and now you’re admonishing women to “stop being so insecure about their age”??

      • lily says:

        @ pennylane does this woman look ashamed ? no, she put her foot down and let the world know about the sh!tty situation. That exactly what others should do. Embrace your own age. Don’t woman get tired of getting insecure ? Cause I am.

      • PennyLane says:

        Being secure or insecure is something you feel internally — being denied a job by someone else because of your age isn’t isn’t an emotional event, it’s an economical one. If anything ‘feeling insecure’ about your age is a rational response to all of the age-based discrimination that goes on in the world in general and in Hollywood in particular.

      • Susan says:

        Thank you Pennylane.

    • Shirleygail says:

      Oh come on, Lily, either you didn’t read the article or you live life wrapped in economic cotton batton. This is a story of a woman who LOST A JOB because at 43 was considered TOO OLD to the the wife of a man 14 years her senior. Please, Darlin’ get with the program. You do nobody, yourself included, with “huh, what’s the problem” thinking. Please.

  6. teacakes says:

    I assume we’re not going to be as messy as the time with Maggie G when people were attempting to handwave the blatant misogyny by claiming she looked “older than her age”, y/y?

  7. S says:

    Through a mutual friend I was told a pretty well-known, drop-dead-gorgeous actress was told, flat out, that at 34, she was “too old” to realistically play Chris Pratt’s wife. Chris Pratt is 37. His actual, also gorgeous, wife is 40.

    This is not on Pratt, who eventually passed on the role, but the casting director/producers who not only thought this in the first place, but felt so secure in the logic of their assessment that they said it out loud to the actress’ management team.

    • teacakes says:


      Anne Hathaway has spoken about being passed over for roles for being ‘too old’ too, and she’s 34 – I wonder if it was her? It’s doubly disgusting because actresses that age are some of the finest ones currently working (Kirsten Dunst is another – great but underrated. Same with Romola Garai, though thankfully she peaced out of Hollywood altogether after facing horrific fat-shaming producers at age 20 when she was doing Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights)

      • S says:

        I don’t want to say the actress because the info was from someone that worked with her management, not the actress herself. Also, it was actually a girlfriend, not wife role; I wrote “wife” while thinking of Pratt’s actual, real-life wife being older.

        Not that, that really matters, as a 34-year-old woman is also not “too old” to play a girlfriend, especially one who is supposed to have an established career, as this character did.

        After Pratt dropped out/turned down the role, the movie is in limbo, if that’s any justice.

      • teacakes says:

        @S – fair enough, sorry for being nosy.

        And I do love that the movie is now shelved – long may it remain in development hell.

    • laura-j says:

      As a 46 year old girlfriend to a 37 year old man, I’d say she isn’t too old to be a girlfriend. 😉

  8. eggyweggs says:

    >>“Old white men, enjoy your last run. We are all f–king done with you lizards.”<<
    Thank you for this, Ms. Denbo.

  9. The New Classic says:

    I’m 31 and feel completely over the hill and unattractive precisely cause of crap like this. Like somehow I passed my expiration date without noticing and the rest of my life is gonna be spent wishing I was 24 again. F*ck ageism.

    • Snowflake says:

      I feel you girl. At 31, i was dating and felt i looked the best i ever have but getting passed over for women in their 20s. But i think those guys didnt want relationships. I met my husband who is 6 months younger than me and he wanted a woman his age. I think we need to start calling men out on this b.s. If we are too old for them, the gut is definitely too old for a 20 yr old. But i think of the guy has been divorced and is back on the dating scene, he’s just looking to play around anyway.

    • Wurstbonbon says:

      The new classic: don’t. I’m turning 40 next year and I am neither worried nor feeling unattractive. Quite the opposite. My (almost 10 years younger) boyfriend keeps making borderline funny jokes about the age difference, but that’s about the only time I think about my age in my private life ever. I also think my body looks more awesome than it did 10 years ago, and even better than 10 years before that.
      Try not to listen to all the bullcrap that the media is serving you. It is entirely up to you how attractive you are. If you give in and let them get under your skin, you will behave differently, less confident in public and around your loved ones, and THAT will make you less attractive actually. So just don’t 🙂
      All the love and hugs to you, and a nice week.

    • INeedANap says:

      I’m 30 and my 50+ year old male coworkers who left their wives in a mid-life crisis are sniffing around, and one had the gall to call me “age appropriate” for him.

      Thankfully I really like my (30 yo) boyfriend, because the thought of going back into the dating pool makes me want to cry.

    • Shark Bait says:

      I’m 32 and I think this is all bs. Welcome to the real world Hollywood execs… some people in their 30s still date and are just settling down to have kids. Some don’t. Some are already married with families. Some don’t want to be married or have kids. Some are just blossoming in their careers. There is no cookie cutter model for it all anymore. And a 43 year old with an 18 year old child would have been 25 when they were born. It’s very ridiculous. At my age I have trouble relating with the younger shows and movies. I didn’t even know have the people they showed at the MTV awards. As a 30 something with young kids, 13 Reasons Why was something I didn’t even relate to. So us 30 and 40 somethings (and beyond) need that representation. People like Anne Hathaway and Beyonce are my peer group, and to think of them as being considered old is just unimaginable to me!

      • Neverwintersand says:

        I’m 31 and i constantly have to shoo away unkempt, unatractive, alcoholic men over 50, who are somehow convinced that young women will fall for their ugly advances. I stopped being polite lately, and just bluntly tell them: “There is nothing appealing you can offer me, you’re my father’s age, you should be ashamed!”

  10. Lucy2 says:

    I applaud her for making this known.
    Dying to know who the actor is.

  11. Nicole says:

    So not surprising but I’m glad she’s calling it out. Its my main issue with movies JLaw is in because she routinely is paired against guys 15-20 years older than her. AH wasn’t remotely believable because of this (among other things). Its just not believable to have someone in their early 20s being movie married to someone 40! Cmon guys. Its hollywood’s fragile manchild ego because lord forbid men AGE.

    • teacakes says:

      Literally the only movies she’s been in where she’s had age-appropriate love interests are X Men and the Hunger Games.

      Outside of that, her youngest leading man is 10-years-older Chris Pratt.

      • OriginallyBlue says:

        Not even in X-MEN. She was in love with Prof X and James McAvoy was 32-33 when the first one came out. It was implied she banged Magneto and Fassbender was 34-35. The only thing close was her flirtation with Beast.

      • teacakes says:

        @OriginallyBlue – welp, not even X Men?! I haven’t seen a single X Men movie besides Logan but I had the impression she and Nicolas Hoult were paired up in theirs. Too bad they had to go the cliché route with the older men there.

        Actually, she did have one other love interest who was close to her age – the late Anton Yelchin in Like Crazy. But this was before her breakout and she had only about five or ten minutes’ screentime there.

        idk what it is about Oscar baiters’ obsession with casting Jlaw opposite older men – I used to think Scarlett Johansson got paired with way too many much-older dudes when she broke out but even she got more age-appropriate leads on occasion than Jlaw now does.

      • M.A.F. says:

        Winter’s Bone & House at the End of the Street are the other two movies JLaw was age appropriate.

      • Nicole says:

        Yea its mostly her pre-Oscar work and THG. Only age appropriate leading men opposite her. Her next movie she will again be opposite someone closer to her dad in age

    • Mia4s says:

      Yeah and just watch; Jennifer will hit 30 and these parts will start to dry up.

      38 in today’s world is way too young to be the mother of an 18 year old. Honestly so is 43! Not a single one of my friends had a baby before 29 (except for one who had a baby as a teen, a very sad situation and no she didn’t stay with the father). It’s the ridiculous fantasy of fading old white men.

      Vote with your dollars, don’t support projects that perpetuate this nonesense.

    • Chinoiserie says:

      The role in AH was bacially written for JLaw. Originally the role was supposed to be really bacically a cameo but Russel re-wrote the script just for her. And it was refreshing to see the mistress older for once. I don’t know why that role is mentioned in the examples so often when practically every wife/girlfriend role of over 30 year old actor has the actress to be far too young. So examples are hardly rare. But I guess people like to blame Jennifer.

      • Nicole says:

        I don’t blame her I blame the system. I’m actually a bit of a JLaw apologist most days. However I can’t deny that sometimes its harder to watch her movies when the guys are the same age as her dad

  12. Beth says:

    The age difference in real life is too much for me personally, but it’s a movie. Plenty have a much bigger age difference in real life

  13. noway says:

    Love her comment, and we need to stop sanctioning the woman have to look a certain way while the men are just allowed to age and become silver foxes. Clooney is a perfect example. He looks a lot older than a lot of 56 year olds I know, but he is still considered sexy. Yet the women have to botox, tweek, and plastic surgeon their way through Hollywood just to get supporting roles and be told their too old or fat. He also marries a woman 17 years younger and is having babies at 56 yet no one bats an eye. You can add Alec Baldwin to that game too. He’s 59 and his wife is 26 years younger. It’s just part of what they are supposed to do. We need to change the image.

  14. Brittney B. says:

    The gossip sites say it’s Jason Alexander.

    • detritus says:

      Oh hells no.
      As if George Costanza is asking for an under 40 wife.

    • BJ says:

      Well Jason is 57.So they want an actress in her 30s to play the mother of his 18 year old daughter?

    • KB says:

      Do we know for sure that it’s him who said she was too old? Like is he producing the thing or is he just the actor cast to play the husband?

    • Geni says:

      Please say this isn’t so 😒😒😒 That would ruin him for me. He’s always been George and I enjoy his tweets. Now that you mention it though…he was always paired with much younger, very attractive women on Seinfeld 🤔

    • Feebee says:

      Does he have a twitter account? Can’t we just ask him? If he gets enough queries he may feel compelled to answer. We need to start putting direct pressure on. Though I’m seriously wondering if he has the pull to make this demand.

  15. jugil1 says:

    I have no idea who this lady is but BRAVA!!! I couldn’t agree more with her sentiment “old white men, enjoy your last run.” Amen!

  16. crazydaisy says:

    YuCK. I can’t stand this obsession that older men are encouraged to have for dating younger women who, by definition, can never be their peers. It’s a model based on shallow values, pushed by Western culture to keep men from maturing and evolving. This is a great disservice to men as a whole (not to mention women!). I guess the powers that be want a population of baby men who they can easily control through their vanity and zippers. Men: wake up and grow up!

    • Shirleygail says:

      @crazydaisy yes, that’s what I was thinking. The 57 year old man wants a much younger person because:
      ANY FULLY ADULT WOMAN WORTH HER SALT IS LIKELY TO CHALLENGE THE MEN’S ‘PLACING’ OF HER AND/OR PUTTING STUPID WORDS IN HER MOUTH. A much younger woman, without clout, is likely to accept the role for the sake of having work. It also means the baby men don’t have to grow up and be responsible for their actions – both on and off camera.

  17. Kathleen says:

    Ladies, Jamie Denbo is a comic genius! Check out the podcast, Ronna and Beverly and you will NOT be sorry! These women RULE!

  18. blairski says:

    I wonder what it will take to change this? More diversity in positions of power? Or does it need to be a cultural shift, and how does that happen?

  19. Littlestar says:

    We are tired of these lizards. Hollywood needs to be boycott for its blatant mistreatment of women and non-white people. I don’t wanna pay these old rich white men to discriminate anymore.

  20. me says:

    My mom watches Indian soap operas and it’s hilarious yet sad that the women who play “mothers” and “grandmothers” to adult children and grandchildren on those shows are 30 years old tops. It’s ridiculous.

    • teacakes says:

      Bollywood is the absolute worst – 40 and 50something men playing love interests to women 20/30 years younger than them.

      And the women will be pushed into retirement the minute they hit 30 or 35, while their much-older “heroes” just get another round of botox and romance another 22 year old who will have to make noises about how they’re “honoured” to be working with these “legends”.

  21. Ann says:

    I don’t patronize/spend money on any movies featuring old men/young women no matter who is doing it. Join me in the boycott.

  22. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    A few years ago, Jane Krakowsk (born 1968) said this about appearing in the “Vacation” movie with Chevy Chase (born 1943): “I played Chevy Chase’s niece. Today, I would play his wife. In two years, I will play his mother.”

    Hollywood sucks. I wish actors were allowed to sue for race and gender discrimination, although I know (as a non-lawyer) the legal standards might not apply to them. But it really is ridiculous and needs to stop.

  23. Lyla says:

    43 is too old to be the mother of an 18yo? My cousin just turned 44 last month and her only daughter is 14.

  24. MrsT says:

    The only part of this I feel agitated by is her specifically calling out white men although I suppose that’s just because she’s specifically referencing Hollywood.

    This ageism issue is rife across the world with men everywhere. India, the middle east, China, everywhere expects the woman to be young (barely legal) and the man to be old. It’s far bigger and far more global than white Hollywood.

    That said, how disgusting! No wonder women have complexes about their age. My suggestion ladies is try to be confident in your skin regardless of the messages the media sends you. Coming from a 65 year old, life gets better and better 🙂

  25. Jamie says:

    THANK YOU for all the support! It doesn’t matter who it is. I will not be naming names or confirming any guesses. Please don’t troll random actors. The issue is bigger than one person and I don’t want any ire directed at individuals. Though I understand the impetus.
    Just watch better stuff. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Orange is the New Black, The Handmaid’s Tale. There’s plenty of good stuff out there!