In a recent interview with The Australian Women's Weekly, Crowe was asked whether he would do another Gladiator film, for which he won a Best Actor Academy Award in 2001.
"I'm too old," 50-year-old Crowe responded. "I can't be the gladiator anymore. I'm playing parts that are appropriate to my age."
The Noah actor then implied that his female counterparts in Hollywood should also seek roles that are age-appropriate.
"The best thing about the industry I'm in — movies — is that there are roles for people in all different stages of life," he mused. "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."
He continued: "Meryl Streep will give you 10,000 examples and arguments as to why that's bulls—, so will Helen Mirren, or whoever it happens to be."
Streep, 65, remarked during an Into the Woods press conference Tuesday that she had no issue with Crowe's comments.
"The Russell Crowe thing, I’m so glad you asked," she responded. "I read what he said — all of what he said. It's been misappropriated, what he was talking about. He was talking about himself. The journalist asked him, 'Why don’t you do another Gladiator, you know, everybody loved that.' He said, 'I'm too old. I can't be the gladiator anymore. I'm playing parts that are appropriate to my age.' Then the conversation went on to actresses. So that was proving a point, that he was talking about himself, as most actors do."
The revered three-time Oscar winner added that she actually supported his comments. "That aside, I agree with him," Streep said. "It's good to live in the place where you are… You can put old age on. It's a lot harder to take it off."