Just a decade ago, as an actress aged her fate was sealed – planned obsolescence meant young faces were rolled out to dethrone the red carpet’s older reigning A-list.
But as the median age of movegoers increases, it seems Hollywood’s actresses are aging with them – and they are getting better parts, and better pay, out of it.
From Cameron Diaz to Sandra Bullock, and Nicole Kidman to Melissa McCarthy, top film actresses in their 40s now out-earn their 30-year-old counterparts.Staying power: As the age of movegoers increases, it seems Hollywood’s actresses are aging with them – and they are getting better parts, and better pay, out of it; Meryl Streep, 63, pictured in “The Devil Wears Prada”
‘There’s a change afoot,’ Sean Bailey, head of production at Disney live-action films, told The Hollywood Reporter. ‘Part of that is attributable to changing audience trends. Women and a broader array of age groups are starting to matter more and more.
‘A lot of these big movies are no longer solely dependent on young men showing up. When you take that in combination with the number of phenomenal actresses in this age range, it adds up to something exciting.’
Where middle-aged actresses once had to pick up supporting roles scraps – with the exception of Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren and Diane Keaton – they are now taking center stage, dominating big Hollywood’s biggest parts.
And a recent Performer Q Study, which measures how well-known and how well-liked a celebrity is, found that Ms Bullock, Ms Roberts, and Ms Streep took the top three film actress spots among U.S. survey respondents over 18.
And television might be playing an important role, too.
Glenn Close, 66, appeared on The Shield and then Damages; Helena Bonham Carter, 47, will play Elizabeth Taylor in an upcoming BBC movie about the movie star’s relationship with Richard Burton; and Ms Roberts is just taking on her first major TV role as a wheelchair-bound physician in HBO’s The Normal Heart.
Style icons for women in their 60s
- Dame Helen Mirren
- Dame Judi Dench
- Joanna Lumley
- Meryl Streep
- Jane Seymour
- Camilla – Duchess of Cornwall
- Sharon Osbourne
- Sigourney Weaver