There's a double standard in Hollywood, and if you've seen pretty much any movie ever, you've definitely noticed it. While men get to be sex symbols and action stars well into their 50s, most actresses' careers peak in their mid-30s - which is why this news about the upcoming James Bond film is so awesome. 50-year-old actress Monica Bellucci has been cast as a "Bond Girl" in Spectre, and she's breaking a sad and all too common pattern in the entertainment industry.
Monica's age shouldn't be making headlines - 50-year-old women should be getting roles like this on the regular. Sadly, they aren't: Hollywood is enamored with youth and often shuts out women for certain roles after they hit an arbitrary age. Think about how many onscreen couples we see where the man is significantly older than the woman: would it be so crazy for a 50-something guy to want to date a 50-something woman? It definitely isn't IRL, so it shouldn't be onscreen, either.
The Italian actress knows how revolutionary it is for her to play a Bond Girl - in fact, when she was first offered the role, she assumed that it was to replace 80-year-old Judi Dench's character! She told Spectre director Sam Mendes that he would be "a hero" to cast her in the film, proving just how rare it is for older women to see themselves onscreen in so-called "sexy" roles. In fact, Amy Schumer recently did a sketch on the very subject on her Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer in which her television heroines reached their last day as a viable sex symbol.
Monica's Bond Girl status is a step in the right direction, but the entertainment industry has a long way to go. Let's hope that the more films start realizing that older women deserve the same variety of roles as their male peers - this double standard is gross and ridiculous and needs to stop.
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