Russell Crowe: Hollywood Actresses Need to Act Their Age

Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe says actresses in Hollywood need to play women close to their actual age  Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures International

Russell Crowe's days as young, hot-headed, phone-flinger seem behind him. He's now 50, a father of two, and embracing middle age as well as the new roles he's offered because of it.

In an interview with Australia's Women's Weekly, the Academy Award-winning actor says that the "best thing" about the movie business is "that there are roles for people in all different stages of life." Though, in his opinion, Crowe, who plays a father of three grown sons in the upcoming flick The Water Diviner, thinks some Hollywood actresses have a hard time embracing them.

"To be honest, I think you'll find that the woman who is saying that [the good roles for women 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," the always blunt star said of the common complaint of older Hollywood actresses.

Crowe, who has been acting professionally since he was 8, continued, "Meryl Streep will give you 10,000 examples and arguments as to why that's bulls–t, so will Helen Mirren, or whoever it happens to be. If you are willing to live in your own skin, you can work as an actor. If you are trying to pretend that you're still the young buck when you’re my age, it just doesn't work."

Crowe, whose rep was not available for comment, then shared a story about an unidentified actress who goes to great lengths to have her characters changed so that they seem younger than they are supposed to be.

"I have heard of an actress, part of her fee negotiation was getting the number of children she was supposed to have lessened," he said. "Can you believe this? This [character] was a woman with four children, and there were reasons why she had to have four children — mainly, she lived in a cold climate and there was nothing to do but fornicate all day — so quit arguing, just play the role!"

Crowe went on to say that he knows that his days of playing the young hunk are behind him.

"The point is, you do have to be prepared to accept that there are stages in life. So I can't be the Gladiator forever," he quipped.

Many Hollywood actresses have spoken out about the lack of good female-driven characters as they get older, especially as leading men — from Tom Cruise to Johnny Depp —age, but their love interests don't seem to. Crowe's comments are sure to continue the conversation on that hot topic.

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