Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Hollywood sexism: graph exposes huge age gap between male actors and their female love interests

last fckable day..JPG

Amy Schumer  took a stab at Hollywood's double standards regarding gender, age and romantic leads in her scathing Inside Amy Schumer skit about three actresses celebrating the last day they’re considered sexually attractive.

But the age gap between Hollywood’s men and women is no laughing matter. 

US site GraphJoy has discovered that some leading men are up to 15 years older than their female love interests or co-stars. This age gap becomes more dramatic as the actors age, meaning that men in their fifties and sixties are often paired with women who are in their twenties and thirties.

The site found that since turning 35, Denzel Washington has been on average 15.33 years older than his female co-stars while Tom Cruise has been 12.55 years older than the women he's paired with on-screen.

The chart below shows the average age difference between the male leads and their female co-stars, for the films made when they were 35 or older. Denzel Washington's age gap is the largest, averaging more than 15 years. In 2013's Two Guns, actress Paula Patton was cast as his romantic partner-in-crime. She's 21 years younger than he is.

Age gap graph

The site did an analysis of the on-screen relationships of 20 of Hollywood’s leading men over the past 30 years. Among those with the biggest average age gaps regarding their female romantic leads were Harrison Ford, 73, Tom Cruise, 53, and Will Smith, 46.

age gap
Two Guns

Paula Patton and Denzel Washington in Two Guns

Back in 1999, the near 40-year age gap between Entrapment stars Sean Connery, who was 69, and 30-year-old Catherine Zeta-Jones sparked outrage - but 15 years later it seems not much has changed. 

While romantic pairings between men and women in real life are frequently between people of the same age that is much less likely to happen in Hollywood, where leading male actors are often cast with female leads who are - in some cases - even young enough to be their daughters.

Entrapment

Entrapment stars Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones

Out of the 20 men in GraphJoy's list, nine of them have an average on-screen age gap of 10 years or more.

Just a couple of months ago actress Maggie Gyllenhaal provided yet more proof that Hollywood is rife with the depressing stench of sexism when she revealed that she was recently turned down for a film role because at 37, she was deemed "too old" to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man. 

Maggie

Maggie Gyllenhaal has spoken out against double standards

“There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood that surprise me all the time,” the Oscar-nominated actress told TheWrap Magazine. “I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made feel angry, and then it made me laugh.”

Gyllenhaal declined to name, and shame, the film in question.

Graphics: GraphJoy.com via Washington Post 

Related

Meryl Streep and Romola Garai on sexism.jpg

Hollywood stars launch joint attack on sexism in the film industry

rexfeatures_3682588ai (1).jpg

Emma Thompson hits out at "disturbing and sad" Hollywood sexism

mcgowan.jpg

The feminist Hollywood whistleblower you need to know about

tired.jpg

“I'm Tired” photo series spotlights everyday discrimination

opener_left.jpg

Rachel McAdams talks exclusively to Stylist

ThinkstockPhotos-467467196.jpg

Female author receives eight times more offers with male pseudonym

Comments

More

US school girl campaigned against her school's tank top ban and won

She arrived at school with the words #IAmNotADistraction on her arm.

by Hayley Spencer
21 Apr 2017

Science has revealed why your Tinder first date is always rubbish

Getting past swiping right can be hard enough

by Jasmine Andersson
21 Apr 2017

This campaign is changing the way images of women are used in media

And it's already had a huge impact.

by Hayley Spencer
21 Apr 2017

Rashida Jones "lifts the veil" on porn industry in new Netflix series

Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On is out today

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Apr 2017

Giraffes to be listed as endangered in bid to prevent “silent extinct”

Environmentalists say we are at risk of the “silent extinction” of the world’s tallest land animal

by Hayley Spencer
21 Apr 2017

Why introverts are more likely to excel in their chosen career path

All hail the quietly powerful

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Apr 2017

This mother and daughter’s cancer battle is inspiring women everywhere

Their story has touched the hearts of social media users

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Apr 2017

Why everyone is talking about Netflix's 13 Reasons Why

From alternate endings to that potential second series

by Jasmine Andersson
20 Apr 2017

This is why your cat won’t stop lying on your things

Nope, they’re not just being irritating on purpose.

by Hayley Spencer
20 Apr 2017

New video for Repeal the 8th campaign makes its point beautifully

The battle for reproductive rights in Ireland will reach fever pitch this weekend

by Elle Griffiths
20 Apr 2017