This week, Russell Crowe said that actresses needed to act their age, and no longer pursue the ingénue role once they hit their 40s. "Just ask Meryl Streep," the surly Aussie quipped. So someone did ask Streep, and although she tactfully "agreed" with him by saying "it's good to live in the place where you are," Streep herself was once a young ingénue. And according to Italian producer, Dino De Laurentiis she was an "ugly thing."
De Laurentiis was casting the totally necessary King Kong remake of 1976. And on a recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show (seated with fellow guests Mark Ruffalo and James McAvoy), Streep said that she was brought in to audition for Kong by De Laurentiis' son, who had enjoyed a performance of hers on Broadway. The senior De Laurentiis took one look at a young Streep, and in Italian, asked "why did you bring me this ugly thing?" Streep responded in Italian (of course she did), "I can understand you. I'm sorry I'm not beautiful enough to be in King Kong," punctuating the "King" and the "Kong" with a disgusted, age appropriate eye roll.
Which makes us wonder, did Streep eye roll "agree" with Crowe? When only 15% of Hollywood movies feature a female protagonist, there are plenty of disgusted eye rolls to accompany any actor who tells actresses to shut up about lack of opportunities at their age. Ingénue on up.