Catherine Zeta-Jones calls out ageism in Hollywood

Actress says movie bosses think audiences are 'less interested' in 40-something women

Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones has criticised the film industry for its apparent ageism problem, with the star saying that there’s a lack of roles for 40-something women in Hollywood.

Zeta-Jones, 46, made the comments while promoting her Dad’s Army film adaptation during a Mumsnet webchat.

She said: “It’s not that there aren’t great stories to be told about women in their 40s, its just that the big bosses in Hollywood feel that the demographic of moviegoers are less interested.”

“I wanted to be in film because I was brought up watching great performances by women in their 40s, in the 70s: Anne Bancroft, films like Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, interesting roles for women, at a great age.”

“There’s talk in Hollywood about diversity right now, and it’s a good conversation to be had, and necessary, but when we say diversity, let’s mean diversity for actors with ethnic differences, age differences, and sex differences,” she added.

“Let’s go back to the writers, to the film-makers and more importantly the studios who finance movies, to get them to have projects where diversity has a chance.”

The issue of ageism in movies has been increasingly addressed by female stars in recent years.

In 2015, Maggie Gyllenhaal revealed she was deemed “too old” at 37 to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man.

Emma Thompson, meanwhile, has said: “some forms of sexism and unpleasantness to women have become more entrenched and indeed more prevalent”.