Entertainment Ageism ‘alive and well’: Studios wanted younger stars than Keaton and Fonda

05:00  17 may  2018
05:00  17 may  2018 Source:   pressassociation.com

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Jane Fonda says ageism is '' alive and well '' in Hollywood. The 'Barbarella' star also admitted she turned to cosmetic surgery to look younger and whilst she doesn't believe it is ''essential'' for older women in Hollywood, she thinks it gave her ten more years of work.

“ Ageism is alive and well ,” adds Fonda . “It is OK for men to get older, because men become more desirable by being powerful. With women, it’s all about how we look. Men are very visual, they want young women.

Jane Fonda© Reuters Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda has branded ageism in Hollywood “alive and well” after studio bosses wanted younger stars to front a movie instead of her and fellow Oscar-winner Diane Keaton.

The women star alongside Mary Steenburgen and Candice Bergen in Book Club, a film about four older friends who reinvigorate their sex lives after reading Fifty Shades Of Grey.

But the film’s creators resorted to making it independently after they said executives told them they would only produce the movie if the characters were younger.

Cast members (L-R) Alicia Silverstone, Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Mary Steenburgen and Candice Bergen pose at the premiere for the movie © Reuters Cast members (L-R) Alicia Silverstone, Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Mary Steenburgen and Candice Bergen pose at the premiere for the movie "Book Club"

Speaking to the Press Association in Los Angeles, Steenburgen said it was a “miracle” that it ever got made, while 80-year-old Fonda added that it was an example of age discrimination’s prevalence in Hollywood.

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Jane Fonda says ageism is " alive and well " in Hollywood. The Barbarella star also admitted she turned to cosmetic surgery to look younger and whilst she doesn't believe it is "essential" for older women in Hollywood, she thinks it gave her ten more years of work.

Jane Fonda says ageism is " alive and well " in Hollywood. The 'Barbarella' star also admitted she turned to cosmetic surgery to look younger and whilst she doesn't believe it is "essential" for older women in Hollywood, she thinks it gave her ten more years of work.

Director Bill Holderman said studios had applied a “tremendous amount of pressure” to reduce the ages of the characters to their late 40s, despite pitching the two widely-recognisable stars.

“It’s an industry that’s very much driven by youth and beauty. Ageism is alive and well,” said Fonda, who won Oscars with Coming Home and Klute.

“I think that’s beginning to change though.”

In Pictures: Age-defying stars over 70

Keaton, 72, who won an Academy Award for Annie Hall, said it demonstrates the difficulties faced by older women in the industry and in other fields.

“It means it’s tough. But it’s tough always for older people. They’re used less frequently in every field – it’s not just in the performing arts,” she said.

Diane Keaton© AP Diane Keaton

Steenburgen described Book Club as a “quietly subversive and revolutionary” act.

“It’s kind of a miracle, actually, that it ever occurred because Hollywood does kind of ask you in some ways to rather disappear as you get older,” said the 65-year-old, who won an Oscar with Melvin And Howard.

“That’s a shame because people should be able to enjoy life and be reflected in movies and television scripts as long as they’re alive.”

Candice Bergen, 71, said that snubs for Fonda and Keaton tells other older women to get “a day job”.

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Ageism is not unique to Hollywood, and the answers go far beyond anything that could simply be discussed here. None of that is going to turn back time, but it makes me feel alive and vibrant I'm in the best physical shape of my life, and I'm getting laid on a regular basis by a younger guy.

She said that she wanted to make the jump before she died. Sixty percent of adults aged 65 and over said they feel younger than their actual age Ageism Hurts. Princeton University researchers have explored the graying of the population as well as intergenerational tensions in the United States.

Dr Martha Lauzen led research by San Diego State University which found that older men have an easier time finding roles than older women.

The study found 46% of male characters were over 40 in top Hollywood films last year, while 29% were women in the same age group.

Commenting on the Book Club scenario, Dr Lauzen said: “The majority of mainstream films continue to reflect the dreams and desires of the white male creatives and executives who work behind the scenes.

“I suspect that if more women occupied executive suites at the studios and creative positions behind the scenes, we would see more films featuring female characters of all ages.”

Book Club will be released in UK cinemas on June 1.

See the Cast of Book Club Then & Now — From Candice Bergen to Diane Keaton (provided by: People)

Mary Steenburgen, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Diane Keaton posing for a photo: Book Club stars (from left) Mary Steenburgen, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Diane Keaton as four long-time friends who begin approaching their love lives in new ways after reading the 50 Shades of Grey books. The leading ladies stepped out for the movie's world premiere in Los Angeles on Sunday and looked just as glamorous as when they started in Hollywood. See the Cast of Book Club Then & Now — From Candice Bergen to Diane Keaton

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