Jessica Chastain Fires Back at Russell Crowe for Comments About Actresses

AP Photo/Evan Agostini/Invision/Thibault Camus
AP Photo/Evan Agostini/Invision/Thibault Camus

Actor Russell Crowe ruffled a few feathers over the week by telling Australia’s Women’s Weekly magazine that older actresses shouldn’t complain about a lack of roles they’re being offered, which has led to one middle-aged actress firing back.

“The best thing about the industry I’m in – movies – is that there are roles for people in all different stages of life,” Crowe told the publication. “To be honest, I think you’ll find that that the woman who is saying that (the roles have dried up) is the woman who at age 40, 45, 48, still wants to play the ingenue, and can’t understand why she’s not being cast as the 21-year-old.”

37-year-old actress Jessica Chastain had a rebuttal for the Gladiator actor on Tuesday, saying, “I think he’s getting his foot stuck in his mouth.”

Chastain revealed her thoughts on Crowe’s comments while at the National Board of Review awards gala in New York, also adding:

I think there are some incredible actresses in their 50’s and 60’s that are not getting opportunities in films.

And for someone to say there are plenty of roles for women that age – they’re not going to the movies enough.

65-year-old Meryl Streep spoke at a press conference on Tuesday, where she also commented on the controversy. She said, “I agree with him, that it’s good to live in the place that you are.” She also spoke of her age in regards to her role as a witch in the film Into The Woods:

[I chose this part] because it’s age appropriate, I felt it was time.

It was not time at 40 and I also had a political reaction against the concept of witches, of old women being demonized and age being this horrifying scary thing.

I don’t like that, I didn’t like it as a little girl and I don’t like it now. But this is a complex film. Every person is at war with themselves, everybody is after something and they’re willing to compromise everything to get it.

Crowe originally cited Streep and fellow actress Helen Mirren as examples of women who have embraced their age in movies:

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.