The star and director of The Water Diviner, Russell Crowe thinks the whole actresses complaining about not enough decent roles for them once they’re past forty thing is just poppycock, and that they should quit whining and just act their age. He recently told Australian magazine Woman’s Weekly “The best thing about the industry I’m in—movies—is that there are roles for people in all different stages of life … To be honest, I think you’ll find that the woman who is saying that (the roles have dried up) is the woman who at 40, 45, 48, still wants to play the ingénue, and can’t understand why she’s not being cast as the 21 year old.” Crowe points to Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren as examples of older actresses who are doing interesting, age-specific work.
Vanity Fair, however, points out that Streep has complained about Hollywood’s obsession with youth, and especially with what to do with actresses once they hit forty. “When I was 40,” Streep said earlier this year, “I was offered three witch [roles]. I was not offered any female adventurers or love interests or heroes or demons. I was offered witches because I was ‘old’ at 40.” And if the dearth of decent roles for older actresses is an example of gender inequality, Crowe presumably doesn’t see a contradiction between what he says about mature actresses and his support of his Noah co-star Emily Watson’s #HeForShe campaign.