Louise and ThelmaGeena Davis, actress, has been a strong advocate for women, especially aging women in Hollywood.
In an interview with Allison Kugel on the Allison Interviews podcast, Davis discussed various run-ins she’s had with ageism in Hollywood revealing she was denied a role because the leading man said she was too old, even though the actor was older than her.
‘It’s very strange and so prevalent,’ she explained. ‘A certain male actor that was making a movie said that I was too old to be his romantic interest, and I was 20 years younger than him.
She continues: “Women peak in their 20s and 30s, and men peak in their 40s and 50s as far as actors go. So the male stars of the movies want to appear to be younger than they are, or they want to appeal to younger people, so they always want a co-star who is really young.That is why that happens and that is why women don’t get cast very much after 40 and 50. It is because they are felt to be too old to be a romantic interest.”
According to the Oscar winning actress, women older than 50 are seldom cast as leads in TV and film roles. She claims that women 50 and over make up 20% of the characters on screen. Most of these roles are minor.
She didn’t name the actor, or the film where the conversation took place but according to the dailymail, Davis has “played the on-screen love interest to many of Hollywood’s most famous male actors over the years – several of whom were younger than her when she appeared alongside them.”