All of these actresses were told they had lost roles because they were “too old.”
Catherine Zeta-Jones says she was told ‘I was just a little too old… I wasn’t even 20’
It’s no secret that ageism is a big problem in Hollywood. When actors reach a certain age, it becomes increasingly difficult to get a job — especially for women.
While men in the entertainment industry are often allowed to age without too much disruption to their careers, many women lose roles to others half their age. In fact, some actresses say they’ve been told they’re “too old” for a job, even if they’re younger than their male co-star! It all happens far too often and luckily these women are speaking up.
Find out which actresses reported being rejected because of their age…
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1. Patti LuPone
Broadway icon Patti LuPone is such a huge fan of the Apple TV+ series Schmigadoon, which parodies and pays homage to Broadway musicals, that she actually asked to be part of the cast. Unfortunately, producers told her she was “too old” to be on the show.
”I wanted to go to ‘Schmigadoon!’ to be there and I was too old… We reached out to her and said I was on ‘Schmigadoon!’ want to be there. They said, ‘I’m sorry. You’re too old,'” she said Crushable. “It is so sad. And it’s depressing. It’s her loss! I don’t know what else to say. I really wanted to be there!”
Patti LuPone claims she was denied the lead role in ‘Schmigadoon’ because she was ‘too old’
2. Olivia Wilde
Olivia Wilde once auditioned for The Wolf of Wall Street but ultimately didn’t get the part. At the time, Olivia says, she was told she was “too sophisticated” for the role – but later learned that was her agent’s way of saying she was too old.
“The funniest thing I’ve heard lately is that I’ve been told I’m too demanding for a role. I thought, ‘Oh, that sounds good.’ I like this feedback. I didn’t get the role, but I’m a very demanding person. And then I found out later that they actually said ‘old,'” she continued “The Howard Stern Show.“
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When Elizabeth Banks auditioned for the role of Mary-Jane Watson in Spider-Man, she was told she was too old for the role — despite being just a year older than her potential co-star Tobey Maguire. Instead, the role went to Kirsten Dunst, who was then a teenager and ten years younger than Tobey.
“I tested myself for the role of Mary-Jane Watson in the first ‘Spider-Man’ film opposite Tobey Maguire. Tobey and I are basically the same age and I was told I was too old to play her. That’s me.” For example, ‘Oh, okay, that’s what I signed up for,’” Elizabeth shared Glamor UK
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Emma Thompson has been a vocal critic of ageism in Hollywood — and experienced it herself. She says she was once told she was too old to star opposite Hugh Grant in Sense and Sensibility, even though the two actors are very similar in age. In the end, Emma not only received high praise for her role, but ended up winning an Oscar for the screenplay.
“The aging thing is crazy. It has always been like this. I remember saying many years ago when I was 35 that they had to exhume someone to play my leading man… That hasn’t changed. If anything, it’s worse,” Emma said vulture. “I remember someone on ‘Sense and Sensibility’ telling me I was too old for Hugh Grant, who is about a year younger than me. I said, ‘Would you like to do a flying jump?’”
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Catherine Zeta-Jones was once banned from a role because she was too old — and she was only 19! She says the audition was for a production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Trevor Nunn’s Aspects of Love, which she felt Trevor was unsuitable for.
“Trevor is always charming and told me I was just a little too old and a little too pretty. I wasn’t even 20 and I remember telling him I could be as ugly or as old as he wanted, but it “didn’t work,” Catherine said called.
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Maggie Gyllenhaal admits she was once told she was too old to play the mistress of a male actor over a decade her senior. Though she didn’t reveal which film the audition was for, she said it came as a surprise to her.
“There are really disappointing things about being an actress in Hollywood that never cease to amaze me,” she said The wrap. “I’m 37 and was recently told I was too old to play the lover of a 55-year-old man. That was amazing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made me angry, and then it made me laugh.”
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7. Geena Davis
Geena Davis admits that ageism is “very strange and pervasive” in Hollywood and that she often struggles with it. At one point, she was denied a role because she was “too old” to play a male actor’s love interest, despite being 20 years his junior.
“A certain male actor who was doing a movie said I was too old to pique his romantic interest and I was 20 years his junior,” Geena said meeting. “Women are at their best in their 20s and 30s, men in their 40s and 50s. As for the actors, the male stars in the movies want to look younger than they are, or they want to appeal to younger people.” They always want a co-star who’s really young. That’s why this happens and that’s why women don’t get cast that often after 40 and 50. This is because they are thought to be too old to spark any romantic interest. “
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8th. Nia Long
In the early 2000s, Nia Long auditioned for a role on Charlie’s Angels, but was told she wasn’t right for her. She explained that she was told she looked “too sophisticated and too old” despite being five years younger than her co-star Drew Barrymore.
“Charlie’s Angels didn’t want me because they said I looked too sophisticated and old next to Drew Barrymore,” Nia said Yahoo! Entertainment. “You can’t do everything and every opportunity is not for you. And as much as that character would have been fun to play, I think I probably enjoyed ‘Big Momma’s House’ more.”
Nia Long said she looked “too sophisticated and too old” alongside Drew Barrymore for Charlie’s Angels
Nicole Kidman admits she faces ageism in Hollywood much like Lucille Ball, who she portrayed in Being The Ricardos. She says there’s a scene in the film that touches on the subject that she found quite relatable.
“There’s a scene where they’re like, ‘You’re 39 and that’s all. It’s sort of over for you,'” Nicole said on the show, “Today” show. “I know that feeling. I kinda had. And it was like, “Okay.” Where TV suddenly opened a door for her, it opened a door for me. At about the same age, I was like, ‘Gosh, that’s kind of … I know that feeling really, really well.’”
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In 2017, Orange Is The New Black actress Jamie Denbo revealed that she was told she was too old to play the wife of a 57-year-old actor in a movie, despite being over a decade younger than he is While she didn’t reveal who the actor was, she did reveal that the actor’s wife was actually even older than her.
“I’ve just been told that at 43 I’m TOO OLD to play the wife of a 57-year-old. Oh, the characters also have an 18-year-old daughter. I’m TOO OLD to be the mother of an 18-year-old,” she said tweetedlater add to“The real wife of the 57-year-old actor is SIMPLY AT LEAST 50. But this woman wants to be married to a 38-year-old – TOPS.”