Liv Tyler Says Being 38 Is ‘Not Fun’ in Hollywood: ‘You’re Usually the Wife or Girlfriend, a Sort of Second-Class Citizen’

The actress joins other famous women who have spoken out about ageism in the entertainment industry

Last Updated: March 31, 2016 @ 10:10 PM

Liv Tyler says being a 38-year-old actress in Hollywood is “not fun.”

In an interview with More magazine, the actress spoke about how she feels getting older has influenced her career as a female actress in Hollywood and what kind of roles women are more likely to receive once they hit a certain age.

“38 is a crazy number,” she said. “It’s not fun when you see things start to change. When you’re in your teens or 20s, there is an abundance of ingenue parts which are exciting to play. But at [my age], you’re usually the wife or the girlfriend, a sort of second-class citizen. There are more interesting roles for women when they get a bit older.”

Many women have spoken out about ageism in Hollywood — Maggie Gyllenhaal told TheWrap in May that “I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made me feel angry, and then it made me laugh.”

Zoe Saldana told The Telegraph in 2014 that “By the time you’re 28 you’re expired, you’re playing mommy roles.”

Even Meryl Streep, who is now 66, opened up about the problem of age in the industry during an interview with Vogue in 2011. “Once women passed childbearing age they could only be seen as grotesque on some level.”

More recently, “The Intern” star Anne Hathaway weighed in on the industry’s habit to give parts written for older women to younger actresses, but realized she was once one of the younger actresses benefiting from the system.

“When I was in my early 20s, parts would be written for women in their 50s and I would get them,” Hathaway told Glamour UK. “And now I’m in my early 30s and I’m like, ‘Why did that 24-year-old get that part?’ I was that 24-year-old once, I can’t be upset about it, it’s the way things are. All I can do right now is think that thankfully you have built up perhaps a little bit of cachet and can tell stories that interest you and if people go to see them, you’ll be allowed to make more.”

Tyler, known for film roles in “Empire Records,” “The Incredible Hulk” and “The Strangers,” will be back on Season 2 of HBO’s “The Leftovers” when it returns on Oct. 4.

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