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

More

Sandi Toksvig’s shock Bake Off confession completely rocks our world

Can we get a “THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING”, please?

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Gossip Girl was supposed to have an entirely different ending

Good morning, Upper East siders…

by Susan Devaney
21 Sep 2017

How to use Instagram to boost your career (and land your dream job)

It’s time to make your Instagram account work as hard as you do…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Students disciplined for making rape joke during a charity fundraiser

The four teens spelled the word ‘rape’ with body paint

by Amy Swales
21 Sep 2017

Colin the Caterpillar has been given a cute Christmas makeover

We only just got over Halloween Colin – now Santa Colin is in town

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Sabrina the Teenage Witch is conjuring up a seriously dark TV reboot

But who will play everyone’s favourite half-witch?

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

Elisabeth Moss isn’t done with powerful dramas about women’s rights

Call Jane is set to be as relevant for Trump's America as its 60s setting

by Amy Swales
20 Sep 2017

Why we all think we’re the least popular one in our group of friends

If you believe everyone’s hanging out without you, you’re not alone

by Moya Crockett
20 Sep 2017

Why that Doctor Foster conversation is so incredibly important

So many people missed the point of this big reveal…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Sep 2017

What is panic disorder – and do you suffer from it?

Nadiya Hussain described it as a 'monster'

by Megan Murray
20 Sep 2017