Jessica Chastain Shoots Down Russell Crowe’s Ageism Remarks; Meryl Streep Defends Them

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In a recent interview with Australian Women’s Weekly, Russell Crowe revealed some interesting opinions about ageism against women in Hollywood. Namely, that it doesn’t exist. “I think you’ll find that the woman who is saying that [the roles have dried up],” he told the magazine, “is the woman who at 40, 45, 48, still wants to play the ingénue, and can’t understand why she’s not being cast.” Now, some of Hollywood’s top actresses are responding, including Jessica Chastain, who told reporters at the National Board of Review Awards Gala that “Russell keeps getting his foot stuck in his mouth!” Chastain added that Crowe was naïve to the realities of the industry: “There are some incredible actresses in their 50s and 60s that are not getting opportunities in film, and for someone to say there are plenty of roles for women that age, [that] is not someone who’s going to the movie theater.”

Meanwhile, Meryl Streep, whose name was dropped by Crowe as an actress who would back him up, did just that. At a press conference for Into the Woods (video below), Streep said that Crowe’s remarks had been “misappropriated”: “He was talking about himself,” she said of the actor, who is playing the father of three soldiers in The Water Diviner. “I agree with him. It’s good to live within the place where you are.”

Additional reporting by Soo Youn.

Chastain and Streep Speak on Crowe Ageism Flap