In an interview with Australian Women's Weekly, Russell Crowe made some inflammatory comments about actresses and age-appropriate roles. Crowe's remarks appeared online two weeks ago, but caught a wave of attention on Monday morning that resulted in accusations of sexism.
Crowe was promoting his directorial debut, "The Water Diviner," when he spoke about portraying a father of three grown sons in the movie. Saying he couldn't have played the role 20 years ago, Crowe launched into a sermon about women's place on the big screen:
The best thing about the industry I'm in -- movies -- is that there are roles for people in all different stages of life. To be honest, I think you'll find that the woman who is saying that [the roles have dried up] is the woman who at 40, 45, 48, still wants to play the ingénue, and can’t understand why she's not being cast as the 21-year-old.
Meryl Streep will give you 10,000 examples and arguments as to why that's bullshit, 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.
I have heard of an actress, part of her fee negotiation was getting the number of children she was supposed to have lessened. Can you believe this? This [character] was a woman with four children, and there were reasons why she had to have four children -- mainly, she lived in a cold climate and there was nothing to do but fornicate all day -- so quit arguing, just play the role!
The point is, you do have to be prepared to accept that there are stages in life. So I can’t be the Gladiator forever.
A slew of vitriolic headlines popped up in response to the actor's remarks. Slate, for example, wrote Russell Crowe Says Older Women Don't Get Movie Roles Because They Refuse to Act Their Age, while Jezebel published its reaction with the headline Always Full of Shit Russell Crowe Says Actresses Should Act Their Age. Here’s Everything Russell Crowe Got Wrong About Women In Film, Australian site Junkee wrote.
HuffPost Entertainment contacted Crowe's rep for further comment but did not receive an immediate response.