Graph Reveals Disturbing Trend In Age Differences Between Actors And Actresses

Published May 27, 2016
Updated February 10, 2017
Published May 27, 2016
Updated February 10, 2017
Hollywood Gender Pay Gap Ageism


One blogger has compared the average ages of actors and actresses when filming a given movie together — and what he found will probably come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the complaints many actresses have been leveling against Hollywood for quite some time.

Using data from all the roles played by actors and actresses in movies with more than 10,000 IMDB votes from 2000-2015, a blogger named CuriousGnu found that, on average, actresses are about seven years younger than their male counterparts at the time of filming. The median age for women was 32, for men, 39.

The graph also reveals the demand is highest for actresses under the age of 35.

Hollywood’s problem with casting actresses over 40 is well documented. Meryl Streep has called out Hollywood’s attitude toward older women, telling Vogue that the industry sees them as “grotestque on some level,” while Helen Mirren called the aging double standard for actresses “f*cking outrageous.”

Younger actresses are consistently cast as the love interests for older men — as Vulture points out, Emma Stone, who is 26, romanced the 45-year-old Edward Norton in Birdman, while 25-year-old Jennifer Lawrence, star of the latest installment of the X-men series, has coupled up with Bradley Cooper twice (he’s 16 years older than her).

Last year, Maggie Gyllenhaal revealed that she was rejected for a role playing the love interest of a 55-year-old actor because she had reached the ripe old age of…37.

Lately, actresses have also been speaking out about their industry’s wage gap, in which women are paid less for their work than men.

Pay discrimination against women occurs across many industries, of course. In 2015, the Institute For Women’s Policy Research found that women typically make 79 cents for every dollar men earn.

Now, watch a video explaining why there are so many superhero movies. Then, listen to some of the most powerful Oscar speeches ever.

Elisabeth Sherman
Elisabeth Sherman is a writer living in Jersey City, New Jersey.