It’s no secret there’s an age bias in Hollywood. The younger you are, the more likely you are to get roles, right or wrong! Last month, three legends of stage and film, Juliet Stevenson, Lesley Manville and Gemma Jones, joined forces to lambast ageism in the movies. It’s forcing actresses into having unnecessary cosmetic surgery they claim. ‘Because they think, ‘oh Christ, I don’t want to play a grandmother yet.’
'When women's parts are being written, they are more and more for under 30s who are nubile and beautiful,' said 53 year old Juliet Stevenson, ‘It's frustrating. The roles get diminished, smaller and typecast. All the executives are male. They are chasing young skirt.'
But a gig’s a gig isn’t it? We know many an out of work recession victim who’d be happy for a job at all… That’s also the view of TV vixen Joan Collins, who has this message for all the mature actresses who moan about the lack of roles for older women: stop moaning and be grateful you’re working!
‘It's such a cliché, because every actress over the age of 40 has been saying this for the last 30 years,’ she said, ‘Of course it's true: the public want to see young people. Young people are the people who go to the cinema. It's a sad fact of life, but you've got to accept it and not whinge about it.’
Do you think older actresses are being discriminated against? Or, as Joan says, is it right that actresses over a certain age should pass the baton to the next generation…
By Amy Molloy