Dog years

Posted by · 9:58 am · March 24th, 2009

Given that Kris’ recently declared love for the 45-year-old-and-still-sexy-thank-you-very-much actress Hope Davis seems to be shared by a few of you out there, you may be tickled by this extract from a Guardian piece, in which Hadley Freeman tackles the eternal issue of Hollywood’s double standards of gender and age:

It is all too easy for a female actor to find herself cast as the mother of someone who once played her boyfriend as soon as she blows out the candles on her 35th birthday cake. This has long been an accepted fact of Hollywood life, and one that most women keep schtum about as they know they should be grateful to get any roles at all in their decrepit post-30s.

But last weekend, Hope Davis finally broke ranks to admit she was somewhat “peeved” when she was recently offered a role playing the mother of Johnny Depp, a concept that would have tested the skills of the most talented special effects department, seeing as Davis was actually born the year after Depp.

Heh. I have no idea what film Freeman is referring to, but that’s a pretty hilarious tidbit. Suggesting that Hollywood views the man-to-woman age ratio as roughly akin to that of man-to-dog, Freeman goes on to list other familiar examples of the trend, such as Glenn Close playing Gertrude to Mel Gibson’s Hamlet, and the bizarre spectacle of seeing Angelina Jolie mother Colin Farrell in “Alexander.” By comparison, Taraji P. Henson’s playing opposite a shrunken, digitised version of Brad Pitt seems positively conventional.

→ 4 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

4 responses so far

  • 1 3-24-2009 at 1:52 pm

    BobMcBob said...

    Maybe she was offered the role of Depp’s mother in the adaptation of the vampire soap opera “Dark Shadows” that Tim Burton is scheduled to direct

  • 2 3-24-2009 at 9:06 pm

    Zac said...

    My favorite is Sally Field playing Tom Hanks girlfriend in Punchline in 1987 and then playing his mother in Forrest Gump in 1994.

    Another one is Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover playing Michael J. Fox’s parents in Back to the Future despite the fact that Michael is 10 days younger than Lea and almost 3 years OLDER than Crispin.

  • 3 3-28-2009 at 12:02 pm

    Ted said...

    This is not anything new — it’s been going on in Hollywood for many years. The 1948 Hamlet starred Laurence Olivier (born 1907) with Eileen Herlie (born 1918) playing Gertrude. He’s at least 10 years older than she — would love to know how she gave birth to him.
    The queen of these type of roles would have to be Angela Lansbury (born 1925). Long before she ended up on TV as Jessica Fletcher, she starred in many films where she played the lead’s mother: in “Blue Hawaii” (1961), she was mother to Elvis (born 1935) — she would have been 9 years old when she gave birth to him. In “All Fall Down”, she was Warren Beatty’s mother. Beatty was born in 1937, so she would have been around 11 when she gave birth to him. In “The Manchurian Candidate”, she was the mother of Laurence Harvey (born 1928), making her almost 3 when she would have had him. In “Harlow”, she played the mother of Carroll Baker (born 1931), so she would have been about 5 when Baker was born. Etc., etc., etc.

    The topper for me was in the last couple of years when Scarlett Johansson at age 23 was considered too old to co-star in “Napoleon and Betsy” and was replaced by Emma Watson — I guess Scarlett could play Emma’ mom in the film?

  • 4 3-31-2009 at 10:46 pm

    Noble said...

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