Geena Davis Decries Ageism In Hollywood; Was Told She Was Too Old For Role By Potential Male Co-Star

Geena Davis
Geena Davis Bentonville Film Festival

Thelma and Louise actress Geena Davis has been a staunch advocate for women, particularly aging women in Hollywood. 

In an interview with Allison Kugel on the Allison Interviews podcast, Davis discussed various run-ins she’s had with ageism in Hollywood revealing she was denied a role because the leading man said she was too old, even though the actor was older than her. 

‘It’s very strange and so prevalent,’ she explained. ‘A certain male actor that was making a movie said that I was too old to be his romantic interest, and I was 20 years younger than him.

She continues, “Women peak in their 20s and 30s, and men peak in their 40s and 50s as far as actors go. So the male stars of the movies want to appear to be younger than they are, or they want to appeal to younger people, so they always want a co-star who is really young. That is why that happens and that is why women don’t get cast very much after 40 and 50. It is because they are felt to be too old to be a romantic interest.”  

According to the Oscar winning actress, “Characters over 50 are 20% of characters on screen, but women over 50 are only a quarter of those characters. So women over 50% are 5% of characters on screen.”

She didn’t name the actor, or the film where the conversation took place but according to the dailymail, Davis has “played the on-screen love interest to many of Hollywood’s most famous male actors over the years – several of whom were younger than her when she appeared alongside them.”  

Link to the full podcast episode is here.

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