Actresses Over 60 That Kick Ass

23 Oct

One thing I’ve always hated about Hollywood is that men, no matter how old they are, can star in all kinds of movies, nail women half their age and nobody gives a damn – think Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment or Liam Neeson and January Jones in Unknown. On the other hand, actresses have a hell of a time avoiding matronly role after their mid-thirties. I remember reading an interview with Sharon Stone where she discussed how thankful she was that Martin Scorsese cast her in Casino because she had difficulties finding roles at 37. It only brought to mind, the huge flop that was 2006’s Basic Instinct 2 and the criticism that Stone received for making such a provocative movie at 48.

Six years after Basic Instinct 2, the movie industry has changed…a bit. Most of the women on Forbes’ Highest Paid Actresses List are in their late 30s or early 40s. The list includes: Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron and Cameron Diaz. Maybe 40 is the new 30, but what about the actresses that are actually (sorry to be blunt) old? The ones in their 60s and up?

These ladies are getting slightly different roles, but for the most part are still playing boring mothers and grandmothers. Look at Susan Sarandon – what happened there? In Jeff Who Lives at Home, Wall Street 2, That’s My Boy and The Lovely Bones, Sarandon plays a mother or grandmother. What happened to her White Palace days of seducing younger men? Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange – why?

I don’t think it’s these actresses’ faults. They’re picking roles based on what they’re offered, but it’s frustrating to see good actresses playing lackluster characters that anyone could play.

Thankfully, there are a few actresses in their 60s that consistently manage to land great roles and receive both critical and financial success. Here are my Top Four Actresses that Kick Ass Over 60:

4. Glenn Close

Glenn Close

Though Glenn Close hasn’t starred in many movies lately, she choses her roles carefully. From 2007-2012, she played the ruthless and ethnically questionable lawyer, Patty Hewes, on the legal thriller Damages and in 2011, she was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Albert Nobbs, a woman living as a man in 19th century Dublin.

3. Helen Mirren

At 67, Helen Mirren is still going strong. Though Mirren’s played a mother figure more than once, i.e. Arthur, her other roles are interesting and varied. Mirren’s played Queen Elizabeth the 2nd in The Queen, a retired government operative in The Debt and as an assassin/spy in Red. Expect to see Mirren alongside Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones and John Malkovich in Red 2.

2. Judi Dench

There’s something about Judi Dench that makes me think she could kick my ass. Maybe it’s her portrayal as M in the new James Bond series or as the bold unapologetic owner of a nude revue in Mrs. Henderson Presents, but Dench comes off as a badass. At 77, Dench is landing roles that people half her age would kill for. In November, she’ll be continuing on with the James Bond franchise in Skyfall.

1. Meryl Streep

It’s hard not to love Meryl Streep. She’s been around for more than 30 years and still manages to take on big and small projects. Streep has played Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, world-famous chef, Julia Child in Julie and Julia, a devout nun in Doubt and the boss from hell in The Devil Wears Prada. Streep has two projects scheduled for 2013-2014 so let’s see what she comes up with.

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