Article by Ceri Wheeldon
It’s good to see some great roles for actresses over 50 in films out this autumn. Of course, you would expect to see a more mature actress like Dame Judy Dench play an ageing Queen Victoria – I cannot imagine any other actress playing that particular part better. But it’s great to see actresses over 50 being cast as key characters, not as ageing parents, but as spies and villains.
The latest Kingsman movie has Julianne Moore playing head villain holding the world to ransom, and Halle Berry playing a secret service agent. These are not token roles to tick some sort of age quota , but meaty roles where age is irrelevant. Michelle Pfeiffer is back on our screens in ‘Mother’ and also the new Murder on the Orient Express film.
I think it’s terrific that the talent and box office appeal of actresses over 50 is recognised – without them being assigned the roles of doddery relatives or character parts.
The more we see women such as Halle and Julianne play roles like these, the better we are able to challenge perceptions and dispel the myth that women over 50 are past their sell by date with only rocking chairs and knitting to look forward to.
We have watched these actresses through the decades – and as we enter and move beyond our 6th decade it’s great that there are women on screen showing that women in our age group are just as talented, intelligent, attractive and visible as ever.
Let’s hope that this is part of a growing trend – with fabulous over 50 actresses hitting our screens. As an audience we want to see mature women leading the way – showing that 50 is not old – and that women do not become invisible just because of a landmark birthday.