Meryl Streep has responded to Russell Crowe’s comments about actresses acting their age instead of whining about the lack of roles. Instead of having a conversation about Hollywood’s obvious sexist attitude towards women 30 and over, Crowe made an argument that there are plenty of roles for women as long as they stay in their own lane.
“The best thing about the industry I’m in — movies — is that there are roles for people in all different stages of life.”
“I think you’ll find that the woman who is saying that [the roles have dried up] is the woman who at 40, 45, 48, still wants to play the ingénue, and can’t understand why she’s not being cast as the 21-year-old.”
Crowe didn’t bring up how actors like Denzel Washington and Adam Sandler play their age while their wives and dream girlfriends never seem to age past 30. There are countless other examples like this, but most actors turn the other cheek, which only leaves women to rise up against this particular problem in Hollywood. It’s exactly why the documentary Searching for Debra Winger exists.
Crowe pointed out Meryl Streep as a prime example of his argument that there are roles for women.
“Meryl Streep will give you 10,000 examples and arguments as to why [the ageism rumors] are bulls**t, so will Helen Mirren, or whoever it happens to be.”
As stated, Streep has decided to answer to Crowe’s remarks. The question was brought up while attending a press conference for her film, Into the Woods. Vanity Fair points out that while Streep has talked about her own struggle of finding roles once she made it to 40, and how our culture in general is youth obsessed, she defended her colleague.
“The Russell Crowe thing, I’m so glad you asked about [it]… I read what he said — all of what he said… [his statements] have been misappropriated… what he was talking about. He was talking about himself. The journalist asked him, ‘Why don’t you do another Gladiator, you know, everybody loved that.’ He said, ‘I’m too old. I can’t be the gladiator anymore. I’m playing parts that are appropriate to my age.’”
Streep then went on to say that Russell was “proving a point” and “talking about himself as most actors do. I agree with him. It’s good to live within the place that you are.”
Do you think Meryl Streep played it safe here, and should have used this as a teaching moment instead?