Lol Hobbs and Shaw, No One Buys That Vanessa Kirby and Jason Statham Are the Same Age. Stop It, Hollywood.
Hollywood has always had this idea that women have to be young and hot while the men can, pretty much, be whatever age they want. It still seems to be a problem that is glaringly obvious in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. The movie focuses on Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and Shaw (Jason Statham) as they face off against “Black Superman” himself, Idris Elba.
In the movie, Shaw’s sister, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), gets them into this mess, which leads to the movie trying to sell us that Kirby, who is 31 years old, was a child at the same time as Jason Statham, who is 52 years old. Yes, you read that right. Someone who is 21 years older is being sold as someone in their thirties.
#HobbsAndShaw is a film that suggests Vanessa Kirby (b. 1988) and Jason Statham (b. 1967) were children at the same time
— Angie J. Han (@ajhan) July 31, 2019
The thing is, this isn’t a new trend. It’s something that has been happening for years. Colin Firth (58) was the love interest to Emma Stone (30) not that long ago in 2014’s Magic in the Moonlight. Hollywood, essentially, believes that women must look young to be attractive despite being paired with men who aren’t held to that same philosophy, and that isn’t fair.
Men are portrayed at almost every age onscreen. No matter how old a man is, they still have a shot. Look at someone like Harrison Ford. I love him with my whole heart, but he is nearly 80 years old and still in movies. Carrie Fisher, who wasn’t Hollywood’s ideal type as she aged, had a much less well-known career after Star Wars. Why? Because that’s how Hollywood operates.
The idea that Statham and Kirby would be brother and sister isn’t the problem. I have a brother who is 20 years older than me; it happens. The problem is that they’re being sold to us as being anywhere near the same age. Why then not cast a woman who was around Statham’s age in the role? Was it because they wanted Kirby in a tight black tank-top on screen? If you wanted that, Linda Hamilton (who is currently 62 years old and starring in Terminator: Dark Fate) proves that you can look hot while using a gun at any age.
I don’t like that movies think they can get away with predominantly casting younger women, even as characters who are supposed to be the same age as older men. It puts unreasonable expectations on women to look younger and does nothing to make men feel those same pressures (not that anyone should). Vanessa Kirby and Jason Statham are nowhere near the same age, and the idea that they could play siblings who were children together is going just a bit too far.
Hollywood, be better about the ages of your characters versus the ages of those actors playing them.
(image: Universal Pictures)
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