TV and Movies·Posted on 5 Sept 2022Maggie Gyllenhaal Was "Too Old" At 37 To Play The Love Interest Of A 57-Year-Old, And 13 Other Actors Who've Shared Their Experiences Of Ageism In Hollywood"When I was in my early twenties, parts would be written for women in their fifties and I would get them."by Benjamin DzialdowskiBuzzFeed StaffFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink Geena Davis, who founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, said that characters over 50 years of age make up 20% of the characters we see on screen, but only a QUARTER of those are women. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Fox / Netflix Ergo, women aged 50 and above constitute a measly 5% of the characters we see on screen. So, basically, the latter are getting screwed. Over the years, many famous women have spoken out about their experiences of ageism in the movie industry. Let's take a look at some of their experiences. 1. Maggie Gyllenhaal Theo Wargo / Getty Images for The Gotham Film & Media Institute Maggie called it one of the most disappointing things about Hollywood, referring to the time that a producer told her that she was too old for a role. The thing that made her "feel bad, then angry, then made [her] laugh", was that she was 37 at the time, and the man whose love interest she'd be playing was 55... 2. Olivia Wilde Jemal Countess / Getty Images Olivia said that she wanted to make a "translation sheet" for all the feedback you get in Hollywood after she was told that she was "too sophisticated" for the role of Naomi in The Wolf of Wall Street. She later found out that they had actually said she was "too old" for the role. For context, she was 28 at the time, and Leonardo Dicaprio (who played the husband, Jordan) was 39. 3. Geena Davis Christopher Polk / Getty Images for Turner Image Geena described ageism in Hollywood as "very strange and so prevalent". She went on to say: “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 said that women don't get cast much, particularly as the love interest, past 40 or 50 because the men want to come across as younger. 4. Anne Hathaway Tommaso Boddi / WireImage Anne mentioned how she herself had benefited from the way that younger women get chosen for parts, but now witnesses younger actors getting roles ahead of her. "When I was in my early twenties, parts would be written for women in their fifties and I would get them. And now I'm in my thirties and I'm like, 'Why did that 24-year-old get that part?' 5. Jamie Denbo Gilbert Carrasquillo / FilmMagic Jamie shared her story on Twitter, saying: “I was just informed that at the age of 43, I am TOO OLD to play the wife of a 57-year-old."She went on to highlight that the 57-year-old's actual wife was at least 50 and that the fictional couple was supposed to have an 18-year-old child... Meaning that the casting team thought that 25 was unrealistic and too old to have a child? 6. Emma Thompson Neilson Barnard / Getty Images Emma Thompson has been pointing out the ageism in Hollywood for years, particularly about the love interests of older men having to be played by far younger women. In an interview, she said: "When I was 35, I said that they’d have to exhume somebody to play my leading man." She also revealed that she was once told she was too old to play the love interest of Hugh Grant in Sense and Sensibility, despite him being only a couple of years younger than her. Luckily the director disagreed and she went on to win a plethora of awards for her role. 7. Dakota Johnson, her mother Melanie Griffiths, and her grandmother, Tippi Hedren Michael Kovac / Getty Images for ELLE Dakota called the industry "brutal" for women, saying how she feared for her future career even at the age of 26. She spoke about the cut-throat nature of Hollywood, and how roles dry up for women past a certain age, referencing both her mother, Working Girl star Melanie Griffiths, and grandmother, Tippi Hedren's struggle to get work as they grew older. Tippi also talked about the lack of roles for older women due to the lack of screenplays with older women characters: "They don't really find women who are getting older to be fascinating enough to make screenplays about. I mean, they just don't write those anymore." 8. Kathy Griffin Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for CNN The actor and comedian spoke about the "daily battle" that is ageism in the industry. She mentioned that she's constantly being told that she's too old for particular roles or certain opportunities. “I’ve just been told everything from ‘Female-driven sitcoms don’t make as much money as male-driven sit-coms...I’ve had network executives tell me ‘We’re just not considering females at this time.’ I would be hearing ‘They like you, they’ve just decided to go younger.'” 9. Junie Hoang Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images Junie Hoang spoke up about the impact of ageism in Hollywood during the lawsuit that she filed against IMDB. The lawsuit, which the website eventually won, was based on the fact that the site revealed her age, which the actor says was to the detriment of her career as it led to her being overlooked and refused roles she would have got if Hollywood thought she was younger. 10. Elizabeth Banks Ian Gavan / Getty Images Elizabeth screen tested opposite Toby Maguire for the 2002 film Spiderman film, where she was up for the role of Mary Jane Watson. Eventually, the part went to Kirsten Dunst, and, according to Elizabeth, it was because she (aged 28) was "too old" to play Mary Jane, the love interest of a 26-year-old Toby Maguire... 11. Cameron Diaz Tibrina Hobson / Getty Images Famously, Cameron Diaz stepped away from acting in 2014 (although she's coming back soon!), but not without citing Hollywood's problem with age. On turning 40, she said in an interview that, even though she was actually looking forward to it, she knew what it meant for her career: "I was not 25 anymore and everybody knew that. So I was no longer valuable."“It’s a cruel thing our society does to women,” “To tell them they’ve failed for a process that’s totally normal and natural.” 12. Liv Tyler Clemens Bilan / Getty Images for GQ When she was 38, Liv described life as a woman in Hollywood as being like a "second-class citizen" – a result of the industry sexism. Liv actually described the industry's ageism and sexism by the fact that despite not yet being 40 (at the time) the only roles available were a wife or a girlfriend, as opposed to the interesting roles that younger women in Hollywood were being offered. 13. Nicole Kidman Axelle / FilmMagic / Via Getty Images Thankfully, things can change! And while, as Nicole said, "20 years ago, we were pretty washed up by this stage in our lives", the landscape is somewhat changing. Her speech at the 2018 Actors Guild Awards praised women in Hollywood, saying: "Hollywood’s current TV and film stars over 40 have “proven” that they are “powerful”." You can watch her speech here: SAG Awards® @SAGawards Nicole Kidman receives the Actor® for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series! #sagawards 🎭 01:58 AM - 22 Jan 2018 Reply Retweet Favorite Twitter: @SAGawards 14. Meryl Streep Christopher Polk / Via Getty Images Despite the majority of her Oscar nominations coming since she turned 40, she at one point feared her career would end at that age. In 2016, Meryl said: "I remember as I was hovering around 40, I thought each movie would be my last, really," "All the evidence of other 40-year-old women at that time -- this is 27 years ago – would lead you to believe it was over.”And Meryl, like Nicole, is continuing to aid the careers of women into their 40s in Hollywood by supporting The Writers Lab, a programme aiming to achieve parity for women screenwriters, which would bring with it stronger roles for women of all ages.