Many were shocked to hear that 37-year-old Maggie Gyllenhaal was deemed "too old" to romance a 55-year-old man on-screen. So Vulture decided to analyze the careers of three younger actresses to see what sort of ages they're asked to play against.
It turns out 26-year-old Emma Stone, 25-year-old Jennifer Lawrence, and 30-year-old Scarlett Johansson are almost always paired with older love interests. And in the past few years specifically, all three ladies have been regularly romancing men who are 40 or older.
According to Vulture:
Since most prestige movies are made by middle-aged men about middle-aged men, actresses like Jennifer Lawrence have to age themselves up to grab those high-profile roles, a pattern that not only contributes to a continued dearth of leading men in their 20s but also indirectly takes parts away from actresses like Gyllenhaal. Indeed, Lawrence keeps playing roles for David O. Russell — bitter widow, divorced mom, single-mother mopping magnate — that would typically call for women in their 30s, not a woman who's yet to even hit 25.
And while we don't necessarily look to the movies for realism, steering these young actresses toward near-constant May-December romances is wholly out of step with what's actually going on in the culture. According to the 2013 census, nearly 60 percent of heterosexual married couples are within two to three years of each other; a union separated by 15 years, like the one between Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook, comes up only 1.6 percent of the time, and some of Emma Stone's recent screen romances with men who exceeded her age by 20 years are reflected by a mere one percent of actual couples
Read the full article here.