In the area of women actors, Hollywood has seemingly changed the goal posts in the world of casting. Older women are getting cast more and being chosen for better parts. More than they ever have before. It makes us ask the question, along with ABC News, “Is Hollywood really saying that 40 is the new 20?” It certainly seems like it.
According to Goldie Hawn’s character in the film The First Wives, women in Hollywood only come in three stages, “babe, District Attorney, and Driving Miss Daisy” But that seems to be changing in a town that has always been “age obsessed.”
It appears that two separate incidents in the world of casting has prompted this debate. Firstly, you have the rumour that 39 year-old actress Penélope Cruz is to be the next “Bond” girl. Which would mean that the Spanish actress will go down in the history books as the oldest Bond girl ever.
Then you have Melissa McCarthy. Justin Bateman saw her scene stealing, and career changing role in the film Bridesmaids. He got on the phone to his producers for his upcoming film Identity Thief and told them to rewrite the main character as a woman for McCarthy to play. McCarthy, who became a star after being in the Bridesmaids film, is rapidly approaching her mid 40s.
McCarthy is now starring in another film The Heat, due out on 28 June this year, with another over 40 actress Sandra Bullock. Those who are, “in the know” about such things, say that Hollywood is rewriting the casting parameters to include the dynamite older actresses.
Hollywood reporter Tatania Siegel says it’s because older women are looking better in their 40s. I don’t know about the average 40 year-old with two point five kids who holds down two jobs to make ends meet, but in the area of your average Hollywood actress? There is more than enough proof that 40 could indeed be the new 20.
The ABC News report gives a pretty good argument for Hollywood apparently saying that 40 is the new 20. The stars included in their roll-call of fantastic looking 40 year-olds is impressive.
The video names just a few of the actresses who continue to “wow” audiences with their looks and figures. Gwyneth Paltrow is just one of the “over 40s” that gets a mention. But the 41 year-old actress has plenty of company with the looks to impress casting directors as well as film fans.
Admittedly, these high earning actresses probably have resources that most women of that “certain age” do not. Plastic surgery is a booming business in Tinsel Town. Botox, collagen, liposuction and the little “nip and tuck” puts many a plastic surgeons kids through college and pays for a lot of extras.
While it may seem that Hollywood has become less age obsessed, if you look at it with a slightly more cynical eye, things have not changed that much. Tatania Siegel says that Hollywood doesn’t expect their over 40 year-old actresses to “look matronly” anymore. But the unsaid provision to that statement, is that they don’t want them to look 40 either.
None of the women mentioned in the list of 40 year-old wonders have any of the tell-tale signs of getting older. There are no wrinkles, or if there are, they are very skilfully hidden. There is not a sag or a droop in sight. A stern reminder that maybe Hollywood isn’t just looking for “babes” anymore, but they still want their older women to look “babe-ish.”
But even if Hollywood is saying that 40 is the new 20, it is a 40 that not every woman can achieve unless they are a Paltrow or a Bullock.
By Michael Smith