Jessica Chastain Rips Russell Crowe’s Ageism Comments, Says Older Actresses Need More Roles

Russel Crowe recently talked about Hollywood’s ageism problem, saying that there are good roles for all ages, but women need to act their age to get them. Jessica Chastain, co-star of the hit blockbuster Interstellar, responded, saying the Australian star is putting “his foot in his mouth.”

Critics of show business have panned the industry for its unrealistic demographics. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, many were up in arms over the movie Exodus, because it featured a white Christian Bale as Moses, a Hebrew living in the middle east. Countless other commentators, like Jessica Chastain, say that Hollywood movies have a bias against women, and that discrimination is far worse for older women.

Russel Crowe explained to the Australian Women’s Weekly that Hollywood is wonderful for offering roles for people in all stages of life, women just can’t accept getting older.

“To be honest, 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. [She] can’t understand why she’s not being cast as the 21-year-old.”

Jessica Chastain disagrees. Chastain played Murph in the recent hit, Interstellar. The character offered opportunities for women actresses in three stages of life, as the story follows her from a teenager to an adult to an elderly woman. Still, Jessica feels that many older women are not getting their fair shot at the big screen.

“I think Russell keeps getting his foot stuck in his mouth. 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.”

Crowe realized that actresses like Jessica Chastain would come after him for his comments, as he later explained.

“Meryl Streep will give you 10,000 examples and arguments as to why that’s bulls**t, so will Helen Mirren, or whoever it happens to be. If you are willing to live in your own skin, you can work as an actor. If you are trying to pretend that you’re still the young buck when you’re my age, it just doesn’t work.”

According to CBC News, Crowe was wrong. Unlike Jessica Chastain, Meryl Streep actually defended the former star of the movie Gladiator, explaining that Crowe was really talking about himself.

“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.”

Naturally, Meryl Streep is not one of the 50 or 60-something actresses Chastain was talking about. Streep continues to dazzle audiences in major blockbuster hits, most recently in Disney’s Into The Woods.

Jessica Chastain’s full comments appear in Cosmopolitan.

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