Maggie Gyllenhaal Was Told She’s ‘Too Old’ to Play a 55-Year-Old Man’s Love Interest
We’re experiencing something of an awesome trend right now, as more and more women in Hollywood are starting to speak out about the rampant sexism in the industry — Charlize Theron, Kathryn Bigelow, Kristen Stewart and many more have been voicing their opinions, and now you can add Maggie Gyllenhaal to that excellent list. Her revelation may seem a bit surprising, but it’s actually a pretty common — but still totally awful — issue in Hollywood.
In an interview with The Wrap, Gyllenhaal revealed that she was recently turned down for a role as the love interest of a 55-year-old actor because she’s “too old”:
It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made me feel angry, and then it made me laugh.
The older an actress gets (and in Hollywood, pretty much anything above 28 is “old”), the harder it is for her to secure legitimate, meaningful roles in film and television. Once you reach a certain age, you’re no longer the love interest — you’re the mother, the nagging wife, the ex-wife, et al. Hollywood has long made a habit of casting younger women as the love interests for much older men, men who are twice their age and could be their fathers, while more age-appropriate women are turned down because they’re “too old.”
And Maggie Gyllenhaal is hardly old. As you’ll recall, she’s played love interests to actors like James Spader (Secretary) and Will Ferrell (Stranger Than Fiction), but according to casting practices, she’d be too old to play their love interests now because apparently — to quote Amy Schumer’s brilliant sketch — Gyllenhaal has already had her “last f—kable day.” Good grief.
Hey, now would be a great time to revisit that hilarious and very honest Schumer sketch. So do that: