'I had to take whatever I could get!' Andie McDowell, 58, rants against sexist Hollywood for ignoring women over 40 but says Millennials are fighting back
- Andie MacDowell, 58, spoke at the Dubai International Film Festival this week
- 'Four Weddings' star was forced to take 'whatever she could get' after turning 40
- Attacked sexist and ageist Hollywood for devaluing women but not men
- But praised Millennials such as Jennifer Lawrence for standing up for themselves
Andie MacDowell, 58, pictured, spoke at the Dubai International Film Festival and went on a rant about sexism and ageism in Hollywood
She was a model at 17, a romantic heroine on the big screen at 23 and a critically acclaimed actress by the time she was 30.
But at 58, Andie MacDowell has revealed she was forced to take whatever roles she could get after she turned 40 as she launched into a furious rant against sexism and ageism in Hollywood.
The actress and producer was due to talk about her career at Dubai International Film Festival, but launched into an unexpected attack on Hollywood for writing off actresses after the age of 40 while men carried on creaming off the best roles and pay packets well into their 70s.
She said: 'I wish there were more opportunities for women my age.
'The question I got bombarded with when I was 40 was: 'How does it feel to be turning 40 and knowing you're not going to work anymore?'
'It is part of the reality of our society. It is so ingrained in American culture that women are devalued at the age of 40 and it is sad.
'They do not ask that of the men. Why do women all of a sudden age out and men do not? It is very bizarre but it is a reality.'
Opportunities: Miss MacDowell was on stage to talk about her career and share acting tips, but instead she talked about how roles for women over the age of 40 are few and far between
Taking what she can get: Miss MacDowell said that she'll take what jobs she can, but thought: 'It is bad the way I had to feel 'whatever I can get, as long as I continue to work''
Bizarre reality: Miss MacDowell complained that in American culture, women at the age of 40 are devalued, but men do not age out the same way and continue to get roles as they get older
A lot older: She said she was also frustrated when people told her older male stars would always need more mature love interests, especially actors more than 20 years older than she is
The actress, whose first film role was in 1984 and went on to star in Four Weddings and a Funeral, opposite Hugh Grant, pictured left
Four Weddings and a Funeral star Miss MacDowell said she was left infuriated when people pointed to Meryl Streep as an example of an older working woman or was told stars like Jack Nicholson would always need more mature love interests.
And she said America was put to shame by other parts of the world, where roles for women in the film industry are better represented.
Miss MacDowell said: 'Someone said to me earlier: 'But Meryl Streep works'. Did you really just say that?
'Well, I hope she is working. Now what about the rest of us?'
She added: 'Someone [else] had said to me: 'Don't worry, you will continue to work because Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty are going to need someone to work with' - but they are 20 years older than me.
'I am sitting there thinking: 'Yeah, I'll take it, whatever they give me' but it is bad the way I had to feel 'whatever I can get, as long as I continue to work'.'
The Green Card actress said she was encouraged by a new generation of younger women, who are not afraid to voice their discontent or demand equal pay and treatment.
Miss MacDowell's first film role was in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, where her voice was dubbed over by Glenn Close because her accent was deemed too strong
Miss MacDowell said she wished there were more opportunities for women her age in Hollywood and when she turned 40 people were asking her how it felt 'knowing you're not going to work anymore?'
Comparison: Miss MacDowell said she was left infuriated when people pointed to Meryl Streep as an example of an older working woman
Double standards: The actress and producer ranted about how actresses are written off after the age of 40 while men carried on earning the best roles and pay packets well into their 70s
Miss MacDowell, 58, pictured in 1989, started her career in modelling when she was 17. By the time she was 30, she was a critically acclaimed actress. However she said there aren't enough roles for women over 40
They include actress Jennifer Lawrence, who railed against the pay disparity with her male co-stars and Girls creator Lena Dunham, who has challenged body stereotypes with her cult TV series.
Mother-of-three Miss MacDowell said: 'It is fun to watch how millennial young women have a much more powerful way of seeing themselves because they have progressed since the time when I grew up, when we were so repressed and so terrified as a woman.
'We never even had the voice to be able to say that but women now are writing about it on Twitter.
'We just had to take it but I do not think the millennials are going to do that.
'I see them - I see what they are writing, I see what they are saying, what they are asking and they are not my generation. They are not going to be walked on.
'They are finally standing up for themselves, which is fantastic because I want my daughters to have equal opportunities.'
Inspiration: The Four Weddings and a Funeral star said she was encouraged by a new generation of younger women who are not afraid to voice their discontent or demand equal pay, like Jennifer Lawrence and Lena Dunham
Empowerment: The Green Card acrtress said she enjoys seeing millennial young women empowered by social media. She added: 'They have progressed since the time when I grew up, when we were so repressed and so terrified as a woman'
In 1986 Miss MacDowell married former rancher Paul Qualley, left, but they divorced in 1999. She has spoken about being single in her 50s and being in the dating world
Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis's research institute last year found the number of speaking parts for actresses were outweighed by three to one, with men securing the majority of roles on screen, a figure which had not changed since 1946.
Miss MacDowell, who has favoured independent films in her career and opted for character roles over blockbusters, said: 'I am sitting there going: 'Wow, this is great. They are actually voicing it.'
'There are some of the younger guys who are standing up for them and that is beautiful.
'It is gorgeous that these men are agreeing rather than just taking it for granted [and saying] 'get used to it ladies' - which is what my generation did.
'They were powerful. They liked that and were happy with that but this younger generation is really standing up for women. I am so thankful for that.'
Miss MacDowell, who said she grew up in a 'little redneck town' in South Carolina in the US, began her career modelling in New York and Paris.
She first appeared on screen in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes but was left humiliated when her lines were dubbed by Glenn Close because her southern accent was deemed too strong.
The actress said it took seven years to be taken seriously and earn back credibility with her role in the film Sex, Lies and Videotape, which was critically acclaimed and a box office success.
She said: 'If you make people money, they like you. It is amazing how that works.'
Finding a voice: Miss MacDowell said that women didn't have a voice when she was younger, but with Twitter, she said she didn't think women would just 'take it' and be walked on anymore. Miss MacDowell is pictured with DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma, right
Future generations: The mother-of-three added: '[Women] are finally standing up for themselves, which is fantastic because I want my daughters to have equal opportunities'
Roles in Short Cuts, Green Card and Four Weddings followed - although Miss MacDowell revealed she never liked the character who seduced Hugh Grant on screen because 'there was something cold about her'.
She added: 'I was afraid people weren't going to like her because she was like a guy.
'She was the more promiscuous one and she did not fall in love with him right away.
'I think it is much more acceptable now but then it was harder to play a woman like that.'
Miss MacDowell most recently played a judge in the TV series Cedar Cove and is soon to reappear on the big screen in Granite Mountain with Jeff Bridges and Jennifer Connolly and Love After Love with Chris O'Dowd.
Her Four Weddings co-star Hugh Grant recently joked she was 'much better preserved', adding: 'You are still a southern peach and I am, according to Twitter, a scrotum.'
In October Miss MacDowell sat on the jury of the International Antalya Film Festival in Turkey and said she was blown away by the quality of actresses and female directors.
The actress also spoke about her experience sitting on the jury of the International Antalya Film Festival in Turkey, where she was blown away by the equality of actresses and female directors
She played an urban horticulturalist named Brontë Mitchell in the film Green Card, pictured
Miss MacDowell plays opposite French actor Gérard Depardieu in Green Card, a 1990 romantic comedy
She also starred in the 1989 independent film Sex, Lies and Videotape, alongside James Spayder
She said: 'I was fascinated because half the films we were judging were female directors.
'All the ones we ended up giving awards to were female directors - some beautiful movies you would never get to see in America because of the lack of information we have.
'America thinks [it is] so progressive. [It's] not.'
She said while the rise of television had created better parts for women, there was still a long way to go.
And the actress, who has been the face of L'Oreal cosmetics for 30 years, said she was conscious of not appearing to be a 'whiner'.
She said: 'I am not going to sit and complain but the truth is, it happens and it is sad because you want to work.
'It is not even that you want to work just because you want to make money, you want to work because you want to be vital.'
The film festival concludes today with the first screening outside the US of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Before she turned 40 in 1998, Miss MacDowell took roles in films like Sex, Lies and Videotape in 1989, Green Card in 1990, Groundhog Day in 1993 and Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994.
After 1998, the actress performed in television series including Jane By Design, which started in 2012 and Cedar Cove, which started in 2013.
She also starred in the 2011 remake of Footloose and the 2015 film Magic Mike XXL.
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