Even with an 18-year age difference, Maggie Gyllenhaal was told she was simply “too old” to play the love interest of a man aged 55.
Gyllenhaal is 37.
In an exclusive interview with The Wrap, Academy Award-winning Gyllenhaal says she was angry before she just decided to laugh it off; a nod to the culture of Hollywood that’s placed major value on youth.
“There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood that surprise me all the time,” she said of that conversation.
She declined to name the male star and the producer in question.
Women have long been discriminated against in the film business, so the slam against “The Honourable Woman” star comes as no surprise to those who’ve been following along.
At the Cannes film festival earlier this week, the makers of drug-war thriller Sicario revealed they had at one stage been under pressure from producers to rewrite the lead role, a female FBI agent played by Emily Blunt, to make the character male. And research last year found that only 22% of crew members involved in making 2,000 of the biggest-grossing films over the past 20 years were female.
And in early May, the American Civil Liberties Union cracked the whip on Hollywood’s biggest production hubs, demanding the state “investigate why major studio regularly fail to hire aspiring and seasoned female directors for movies, citing ‘rampant discrimination’ in the industry.”
Gyllenhaal seems to be onboard with that.
“A lot of actresses are doing incredible work right now, playing real women, complicated women,” she said, adding that she hopes there are even better and more “fascinating” roles waiting for her.
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