Sunday, April 6, 2014

Topic Of The Day: Actresses and Longevity in Hollywood

Hello, Bloggers, for today's Topic Of The Day, I figured I'd discuss something that I have my own theories about, and that is the question of why Hollywood actresses don't have their careers see as much longevity as their male counterparts.

The way I see it, I think that many ingĂ©nues who get tossed aside as they get older, are usually typecast in either sexpot or "girl-next-door" roles in their prime. Those types of roles are their bread and butter and once their bread and butter become stale, then they stop working as much. As they get older, they are stuck in rather supporting roles like the mother and whatnot, so some of them just don't want to cast their vanity aside and play those types of roles. Of course, some of them get rather unfortunate plastic surgery which really could kill your chances at getting more work like the snapping of fingers, or just stop working as much because they reach a point in their career where they can work whenever they want to.

On the flip side, however, there are those who in their prime didn't always get stuck playing roles based on their charm and looks and still steadily work today. Take, for example, Jessica Lange. Back in 1983, she won an Oscar for her supporting work as the love interest in Tootsie. That same year, she won nominated for her lead turn in a much meatier role in the biopic Frances. Four more Oscar nods including another win would follow. She may not be working in film as much now, but she is still busy winning Emmys for her work in television. Plus, there are some actresses past their prime other than Meryl Streep who still work consistently, like Julianne Moore. Julianne Moore, both now, and in her prime, has always fallen on and off the radar doing art house films (Safe, Far From Heaven, Magnolia) as well as blockbusters (The Lost World: Jurassic Park, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Hannibal). She even finds solid work on television like her Golden Globe and Emmy-winning turn as Sarah Palin in Game Change. So, like Jessica Lange, Moore has always found substantial material, whether it'd be on the big or small screen. Another example of an actress past her prime who still works steadily is Sigourney Weaver. In her prime, she was known for being an action heroine rather than the "girl next door" like Meg Ryan. As she got older, she seemed to have come to terms with the fact that her Alien days were behind her and would gravitate towards more dramatic films like The Ice Storm, A Map of the World, and Imaginary Heroes. Plus, she would still find work in sci-fi fare even if they are films where she is not front and center, in films like Avatar and her cameo in Paul.

So, that is my personal theory on why there are actresses whose careers don't foresee as much longevity as their male counterparts and why there are some that do. Please feel free to offer your thoughts in the comments section and thanks for reading!

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