Remember in that amazing Amy Schumer sketch when Patricia Arquette said she didn’t get a commercial because she was too old to play Larry King’s wife? And we all laughed and laughed because that was such a heightened reality it was absurd even for that sketch that was hitting on a totally real issue?
Well. Apparently it wasn’t that absurd. At all. Just ask Maggie Gyllenhaal.
“There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood that surprise me all the time,” she said during an interview for an upcoming issue of TheWrap Magazine. “I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made feel angry, and then it made me laugh.”
It sounds completely nonsensical, but consider that two actors who turn 55 this year, Colin Firth and Sean Penn, both recently starred in movies where their love interest was portrayed by Emma Stone. She’s now 26, so if Gangster Squad was being made today they’d probably have to go a bit younger, what with how decrepit she is two years later. Johnny Depp is 51 and three of his most recent movie love interests were born in 1982, 1986 and 1987, respectively (he married the 1986 one in real life, of course). Meryl Streep’s last onscreen love interest was Sam Shepard, who was born in 1943 and is six years her senior, so do with that what you will.
To sum up: men, you’re doing fine. Women, you are made of cobwebs and are dying a little more every day and as your flesh slowly rots off your elderly, thirtysomething bones, please try to remember—if you can, you old, old creature—what life was like when you mattered. You know. At 22 or something.