Russell Crowe, never a man to mince his words, shared his thoughts recently on the ongoing issue of ageism facing actresses in Hollywood, with this trenchant assessment: “bullshit.” In an interview, the actor expressed his opinion that actresses are frustrated not because of an actual problem of a lack of quality roles for older women, but because they are trying to play younger than their age. Meryl Streep backed up Crowe’s take on the matter, but needless to say, his comments sparked more conversation about the issue, and deciding to weigh in is none other than Jessica Chastain. And he she had some choice words about Crowe.
“I think Russell keeps getting his foot stuck in his mouth,” she told Cosmopolitan with a laugh at the National Board of Review Awards Gala. “There are some incredible actresses in their 50s and 60s that are not getting opportunities in films, and for someone to say there are plenty of roles for women that age … [that] is not someone who’s going to the movie theater.”
And this isn’t the first time Chastain has spoken out about the matter, telling the magazine last month: “I will say, as an audience member, I see everything I can, [and] there’s still — it’s a fact — a huge difference between male roles and female roles, and there are a lot of great actresses out there that I wish I could see in more films.”
Chastain’s comments echo what many have been saying for a while now, and it’s not just about a lack of parts, but also a lack of diverse characters among them. The solution? We don’t have the answer for that, but studios taking a “risk” by making pictures that don’t conform to the standard movie tropes we already know would be a start.
Your move, Crowe.