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

Muslim witness of Westminster attack responds to Islamophobic trolls

A picture of the woman walking on Westminster Bridge has been shared widely

by Nicola Colyer
24 Mar 2017

Bright, beautiful and bold Easter cake inspiration

Stylish bake ideas to nick and claim as your own

by Amy Swales
24 Mar 2017

An Avengers-style Disney princesses film could be in the works

24 Mar 2017

All the new emojis set to light up our keyboards

From breastfeeding to broccoli

24 Mar 2017

There's a sex side-effect which benefits you for 48 hours, study finds

It's all about what's known as the sex "afterglow".

by Hayley Spencer
24 Mar 2017

This is how much the houses in Big Little Lies cost

Spoiler: they're VERY expensive.

by Hayley Spencer
23 Mar 2017

Scientists reveal why you need to stop flaking on plans with friends

Don't flake it 'til you make it

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Mar 2017

Revealed: the number one reason that women break up with their partner

The truth hurts

23 Mar 2017

Been zombied? There’s now a name for this confusing dating behaviour

It's time to talk about the zombies of the dating world...

23 Mar 2017

10 female anthems to share with your mum this Mother's Day

The most moving anthems about motherhood by our favourite female artists.

by Alice Vincent
23 Mar 2017