Meryl Streep Had A Few Things To Say About Russell Crowe’s “Actresses Should Play Their Age” Comment
And Tracey Ullman was the best part of Meryl Streep’s response. But before we get into the wonder that is Tracey Ullman’s facial expressions….
Russell Crowe recently told The Australian Women’s Weekly that he’s too old to play the Gladiator, and he added that actresses who complain that there aren’t any roles for them are usually the ones who are in their 40s and still want to play the young ingenue. (I see Russell Crowe throwing belated shade at Joan Crawford for playing her daughter’s role in that soap. Bitch is going to get a wire hanger slap from the great beyond.) I wish Russell felt the same way about actors in movie musicals. Because if he felt that you should be able to sing if you’re going to be in a movie musical, my ears would have never been traumatized by his walrus warble in Les Miserables. Here’s a piece of what Russell said. You can read the entire thing here.
“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.”
Russell got a lot of hotel desk phones thrown at him for saying that, because many of the good, lead female roles are for youngins and the older roles usually go to Meryl Streep. Russell really shouldn’t have used Meryl Streep as an example. She’s in her own category. If she wanted to play a Japanese baby boy in a movie, they’d probably let her. She’s Meryl Fucking Streep.
Jessica Chastain was asked for her thoughts on Russell Crowe’s words and she basically said that he must be spitting out a whole lot of greasy toe jam, because he really stuck his foot all the way in his pie hole. But Meryl Streep defended him. During a press conference for Into the Woods in London, a reporter asked Meryl about the shit that Russell said. Meryl was happy she was asked about it, which makes me think that she had an answer prepared, but I don’t know if she did. Meryl took us on a windy, verbal journey that seemed to go nowhere and everything at the same time. Vanity Fair tried their best to transcribe what Meryl said. Into the words!
“The Russell Crowe thing, I’m so glad you asked about [it],” she told the inquiring reporter. “I read what he said—all of what he said . . . [his statements] have been misappropriated . . . what he was talking about. He was talking about himself. The journalist asked him, ‘Why don’t you do another Gladiator, you know, everybody loved that.’ He said, ‘I’m too old. I can’t be the gladiator anymore. I’m playing parts that are appropriate to my age.”
As for his comments denying that actresses have a hard time being cast as they get older Streep suggested that Crowe was simply “proving a point” and that he was generally “talking about himself as most actors do.” After literally waving off his remarks, she continued, “I agree with him. It’s good to live within the place that you are.” Acknowledging the fact that she plays a witch in Into the Woods—after speaking out in the past about how she bristled at being offered similar parts once she hit the four-decade milestone—she defended her choice to take on the character. “This witch [starts out as] a very, very young woman,” she said referring to how she plays the witch at both the “young and beautiful” and “old and ugly” phases of her life. “It was easier to do that. . . to make the transformation,” she added.
The video of Meryl’s response is below and you should watch it solely for Tracey Ullman. Tracey Ullman’s face is a roller coaster of emotions. She takes you up. She takes you down. She takes you to the side. She takes you round and round. Tracey should be the real bitch translator for every celebrity interview. You don’t even need to watch this video with the sound on. You know exactly what Meryl is saying by looking at Tracey’s face.
I mean, she goes from “this miiight get messy” to “um, no” to “where is she going with this?” to “I think I know where she’s going....” to “err, I thought wrong” to “okay, okay, okay” to “oh no oh no.” Or maybe that’s not what’s going on at all. Maybe Tracey isn’t even listening to Meryl. Maybe she checked out and is having an internal conversation with herself about what to make for dinner. “I’ll make spaghetti and meatballs. Oh wait, Mabel’s friend doesn’t eat meat so I can’t do that. What else… what else…”
Here’s Meryl, Tracey and others at the Into the Woods premiere in London yesterday.