Dame Emma Thompson has slammed the “utterly unbalanced” double standards in Hollywood when it comes to age.

Dame Emma Thompson

Dame Emma Thompson

The 61-year-old actress has hit out at ageism and sexism in the movie industry, as she says that whilst it’s “completely acceptable” for an older man in a movie to have a younger female partner, it’s frowned upon when the age gap is the other way around.

Emma made her comments as she is set to star in the new film, ‘Good Luck To You, Leo Grande’, which sees her play a 55-year-old woman named Nancy Stokes who sets out on an adventure for “human connection and good sex”.

She said: “It’s very interesting with this woman I’m about to play, one of the things she says to this young man … he says, ‘You’re perfectly attractive why can’t you find another chap?’ Now I’ve never heard a woman say that on screen. With men, it’s completely acceptable.”

The Hollywood icon went on to say an actor like George Clooney, 59, would be able to play a character who embarks on a romance with someone “40 years younger” than him without complaints about the age gap, but believes older actresses aren’t given the same treatment.

She told the ‘CultureBlast’ podcast: “It’s completely acceptable for George Clooney – who is delightful – to have someone who is 40 years younger than him or 30 years younger than him.

“If I have someone playing opposite me in a romantic way, they have to exhume someone, because I’m 61 now. Do you see what I mean? It’s completely and utterly unbalanced.”

The ‘Love Actually’ star also said it’s not enough to just promote equality by giving men and women the same acting roles on screen, as she agreed with the podcast hosts about needing more female directors and producers.


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