Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Catherine Zeta-Jones hits out at lack of Hollywood roles for older women

Published 28/01/2016

Catherine Zeta-Jones is currently starring in Dad's Army
Catherine Zeta-Jones is currently starring in Dad's Army

Catherine Zeta-Jones has said the lack of good roles for actresses over 40 is because "big bosses" in Hollywood feel they do not capture the imagination of moviegoers.

The 46-year-old Welsh star answered questions about her career and personal life in a webchat for the Mumsnet website earlier today.

"It's not that there aren't great stories to be told about women in their 40s, it's just that the big bosses in Hollywood feel that the demographic of moviegoers are less interested," she said.

"I wanted to be in film because I was brought up watching great performances by women in their 40s.

"There's talk in Hollywood about diversity right now, and it's a good conversation to be had, and necessary. But when we say diversity, let's mean diversity for actors with ethnic differences, age differences, and sex differences.

"I don't think I'm going to change a demographic - all I want to do is to do good film that is accessible to people of all ages and races," the Oscar-winner stated.

Zeta-Jones also touched on the current Oscars race row sparked by the absence of nominations for black and minority ethnic (BAME) actors.

"Regarding the diversity issues that are sweeping Hollywood at the moment, I still find it sad that we're even discussing this at this time. But in the defence of the Academy Oscar voters, they can only vote on what they see," she said.

"Let's go back to the writers, to the filmmakers and more importantly the studios who finance movies, to get them to have projects where at least diversity has a chance."

The Swansea-born actress, who has been married to fellow Academy Award winner Michael Douglas since 2000, is busy promoting the big screen version of long-running BBC One sitcom Dad's Army.

The Second World War-set series ran from 1968-77 and featured Ian Lavender, who makes a cameo appearance in the new incarnation which stars Toby Jones and sees Zeta-Jones as journalist Rose Winters.

During the webchat, she recalled Dad's Army as "a childhood favourite" and talked of "great memories" watching with her family.

"I am a huge fan of classic British TV and comedy. I feel honoured that the show that really launched me in the UK, The Darling Buds Of May, is now part of that group - with re-runs constantly on television, and a new generation of fans of the show."

The ITV favourite premiered in 1991 and centred around the Larkins, a large family headed by "Pop" Larkin, played by David Jason, and featuring Pam Ferris as "Ma" Larkin.

Set in rural Kent in the 1950s, Zeta-Jones stood out as their alluring daughter Mariette.

She made the transition from television to mainstream Hollywood movies following her eye-catching appearance in 1998's The Mask of Zorro with Antonio Banderas.

Two years later, Zeta-Jones was acclaimed for her performance in Steven Soderbergh's Oscar-winning film Traffic and won her own Academy Award for her role as Velma Kelly in the 2002 film adaptation of musical Chicago.

"I think I am most proud of my work in Chicago and in Traffic. Firstly, because they are so very different and as an actor that's what I always strive to do each time," she said.

New York-based Zeta-Jones expanded on her love of musicals and her hopes of treading the boards again soon.

"I'm looking to go back to Broadway in the near future to do a straight play, something I have never done before. I am very excited about that prospect," she enthused.

Despite the years away living and working in America, Zeta-Jones has not forgotten her roots.

"I'm also following Premiership football as my home town, Swansea, is now in it," she said.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph