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Elizabeth Banks Talks Ageism In Hollywood

elizabeth banks

Ageism in Hollywood is a pretty serious topic and one that should be talked about. But Elizabeth Banks – who’s 41, by the way, and has a history of saying dumb shit – doesn’t think it’s that much of a problem, and she kinda gets where the industry is coming from. After all, wouldn’t you rather be in a movie (or watch a movie) with hot people instead of ugly, wrinkly ones?!

From Flaunt (via E! Online):

“I am 41. That’s true,” the Magic Mike XXL actress said before the reporter asked if she feels the industry is less than fair to women of a certain age.

“Not for Sandra Bullock! Not for Meryl Streep! Not for Naomi Watts! I got plenty to do,” Banks exclaimed.

“The men get all older and all the women stay the same age…that’s true…My male peers in this business would rather be in a romantic relationship in a film with a 28-year-old. I’ll give you that. But it’s for the exact same reason I would prefer to be in a movie with Zac Efron!”

“Because they’re beautiful! They’re sexy! They keep you feeling young, fresh! I guess my point is that I understand the impulse. It’s a bummer, but I think it’s important to remember.”

Banks continued, “Women want to work because what we realized is that when you take that time to go away for six years and get your kids into first grade, people don’t hire you. They f–king forget about you…Men want us to make money because they like having boats. They like going on vacations. They like motorcycles. And they’re not getting them on their salary alone.”

I mean, far be it for me to tell Elizabeth Banks about her Hollywood experience, but I do think this is a pretty insufferable attitude to have. To mention Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock kinda doesn’t count – these women are the major exceptions, NOT the rule. And Meryl Streep is a goddess on earth, so she shouldn’t even enter ANY conversation on the subject.

I do think, yes, we like attractive things, but accepting this as the norm is why shit like this will never change, and why people like Maggie Gyllenhaal will be told that at 37, she’s too old to play the lover of a 55-year-old man. Because while Banks “understands the impulse”, for men, that’s all it is – impulse. It doesn’t actually keep them from being cast in roles. They still get the jobs, and women don’t. I suppose she’ll start realizing this when she starts showing signs of her age (unless, of course, she resorts to constant Botox and the shit that plenty of Hollywood women do to stay in the game as long as possible).

8 CommentsLeave a comment

  • It is contradictory bc I think as a woman actress if you’ve ever taken a role as the younger lover of an older man you lose the right to complain about not getting that same role in 20 years.

  • Good god. It’s like arguing the shape of the table. Read her statements and COMPREHEND. She acknowldeges that those actresses are exceptional. And all THOSE actresses have acknowledged the age issue.

    The MARKET decides if they wanna see young gals or ladies in their nineties.

    My fave shows mostly have older gals. Anything with Helen Mirren, Downton Abbey, Happy Valley (only one season but damn was that a BARN BURNER! It’s on Netflix and if you haven’t seen it it, do so. It will FRY YOUR BRAIN!). I use a lot of metaphors, I know I know.
    They all have older women in them. I’m not much of one for young model chicks pretending to be something those chicks will NEVER be at that age/body style : Physicists, analysts, etc.
    Another great example is Peaky Blinders (I think two seasons down and I inhaled those episode. The aunt in the cast is older and she’s fan-freaking-tastic. So, if Big Hollywood wants 22 year old gals in blockbusters and the market loves it, so be it. You can NOT shove your ideas down the public’s throat. Offer quality stuff with older women (as I have listed) and you will get a big enough market there ot at least employ excellent actresses intheir fifites, sixties, and seventies…
    ’nuff said.

    • Ohhhhhh my god, yes. Happy Valley is so fucking good.

      Broadchurch and The Fall are pretty killer, too.

      • The Fall and Broadchurch ARE fantastic, barely a chippie between them, Gillian Anderson in The Fall particularly is great as a strong woman and her career as an actress has only flourished as she’s grown.

      • I’ll check out Broadchurch and the Fall. Also, check out Grantchester on PBS (one of the few things I’ll watch on that station). I think it’s done for the season but it was great. But REALLY . Ya GOTTA see Peaky Blinders on Netflix. Seasons 1 and 2 were completely on FIIIYAAAAA!

    • You’re completely missing the point of why these statements are wrong. Hollywood is incredibly misogynistic and older women suffer for it. See Maggie Gyllenhaal’s example, or Rose McGowan, fired after speaking up. Woody Allen’s films, where the female role always goes to a very young woman but the male role goes to some flabby 50 year old male actor past its prime. Also, why do you say “offer quality stuff” as if that were a pre-requisite to put anyone onscreen? Are women only allowed on screen if it’s good content? Because you fucking know 2 and a half men is shite and it’s still on, same for any bleeding adam sandler film. Like please, stop making excuses for the inexcusable.

  • I couldn’t get into Peaky Blinders at all, it reminded me too much of American Horror Story style-wise, but I know of lots of people that love it. Will check out Happy Valley

    I think the main problem with these movies casting age-inappropriate women as loce interests is the movie itself. Those romcoms are the farging WORST. Talented actresses get work acting, if your talent is shaking yo bum, then yes, there’s a time limit on that. So heads up, Charming Potato, develop some acting chops.