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19 Glorious Next Generation 'Older' Actresses Who'll Never Accept Being Sidelined

By Cindy Davis | Lists | March 5, 2015 |

By Cindy Davis | Lists | March 5, 2015 |

Following up last night’s list of all the fabulous actresses who’ve already hit 50 (the magic number that seems to mark Hollywood’s sexist/agist demarkation line), I quickly realized how many phenomenal actresses are in their 40s now. On the one hand, who cares? They’re all glorious and talented, and most importantly — they’re working. On the other hand, according to the current standard, now’s the time things may start slowing down for these ladies, which is obviously COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. Every single one of these ladies is in her prime.

As Patricia Arquette — who continues to work every moment of her press time to champion women — notes, why is it only the women having their appearance constantly critiqued?

“When I was a teenager, someone told me, ‘If you fix your teeth, you could be in Playboy.’ I said ‘Why would I want to be in Playboy?’ I didn’t want to look perfect. I didn’t want to have to be some girl in a magazine. I didn’t want to have to change myself to be attractive.

I’ve had so many of these conversations in my life … what I look like on film, what I don’t look like on film. What are we supposed to look like? Men are not having these conversations.

It’s like we’re trapped in wet wool or something. I just want to be free of it so we can move to the next level as equals. Not that I don’t love being a woman, not that I don’t love the differences between men and women. I just mean, as an actor - why is this a conversation? Why is aging a conversation? It’s a one-sided conversation because it’s only ever had by women.”

Indeed, it seems an actress can be at the top of her craft, but she’ll still suffer the ideals of a particular lens. Is it just the same old powerful, Hollywood money machine driving these standards, or does the sexism and agism trickle down to us — the audience? Because if we have anything to do with it, we can speak with our wallets and help make a change. Just look at the ever-growing push for female superheroes; it may have taken a while for us to be heard, but the message finally got through loud and clear. (Michelle Forbes, 50 — who should have been on yesterday’s list — was recently cast as Powers’ Retro Girl.) All of this to say, let’s keep an eye on these glorious “older” actresses, whose careers are in full swing right now, and show no signs of slowing down.

Robin Wright, 48


Viola Davis, 49


Naomi Watts, 46


Amy Adams, 40


Nicole Kidman, 47


Kim Dickens, 49


Lucy Liu, 46


Laura Dern, 48


Melissa McBride, 49


Toni Collette, 42


Lena Headey, 41


Patricia Arquette, 46


Helena Bonham Carter, 48


Taraji P. Henson, 44


Cate Blanchett, 45


Jennifer Connelly, 44


Gillian Anderson, 46


Charlize Theron, 39 (40 in August)


Kate Winslet, 39 (40 in October)


Cindy Davis, (Twitter) doesn’t know how old the tuna is.