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Olivia Wilde deemed “too old” to play Leonardo DiCaprio's wife

Posted by
Hayley Spencer
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Olivia Wilde has given us more proof that ageism is still alive and kicking in Hollywood.

Wilde has relayed the story of how she lost out on a role in Oscar-nominated Martin Scorsese film, The Wolf Of Wall Street.

It could have been an amusing anecdote about a head-to-head audition, but no: it was simply down to sexism.

Speaking on The Howard Stern Show, Wilde revealed that she had auditioned for the part of Naomi Lapaglia, wife of Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio). She explained how she'd been pretty pleased by the feedback when she learned that she'd missed out on the role to Margot Robbie. Until she had it decoded, that is. 

"The funniest thing I heard recently was I had heard for a part that I was too sophisticated," she said. "And I was like, 'Oh, that sounds nice.' I like that feedback. I didn't get the part, but I'm a very sophisticated person. 

"And then I found out later that they actually said 'old.' I want to make a translation sheet for Hollywood that's all the feedback your agents give you and what it really means."

Margot Robbie and Leonardo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street

Olivia Wilde lost out to Margot Robbie in Wolf of Wall Street

Just to put this in perspective, DiCaprio was 37 at the time, and Wilde nine years his junior at 28. Robbie, who played the role, is now 25, but was 22 at the time of filming - 15 years DiCaprio's junior.

Wilde took the comments in good humour and highlighted that there's no hard feelings on her part, as losing out on the role of Naomi meant she landed her "dream job" in 1970's set drama, Vinyl.

And while the actress feels everything happens for a reason, her loss of the role only serves to underline the lack of sound reasoning in Hollywood's role allocation for female actors.

Wilde isn't the only actress to speak out over losing out on a role due to ageism - Maggie Gyllenhall said she experienced gender discrimination from a studio, when she was 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. She did not disclose which movie the role was for.

Both stories corroborate a US study released last year which analysed the age difference between on-screen couples in movies from the past 30 years, highlighting that some leading men are up to 15 years older than their female love interests or co-stars. The most depressing part of this statistic being that little has changed in three decades.