Reese Witherspoon criticises unrealistic portrayals of older men with young women


Reese Witherspoon has dubbed Hollywood’s penchant for showing relationships between older men and younger women unrealistic.

In an interview with British newspaper The Evening Standard to promote her new movie Home Again, the 41-year-old discussed how she found it “bizarre” that actors she starred with at the beginning of her career were now appearing alongside love interests at least ten years younger – an issue she joined fellow actresses Maggie Gyllenhaal and Cate Blanchett in blaming on the fact that most stories were told via male directors.

Reese was five years younger than Mark Wahlberg when they starred opposite each other in 1996 thriller Fear and in his summer blockbuster Transformers: The Last Knight, the 46-year-old appeared alongside Laura Haddock, who at 32 is more than a decade younger than the actor.

“It’s interesting, the movies that I used to make with certain leading men, they get older, but their co-stars get younger, but my co-stars don’t. It’s weird,” Reese sighed. “It’s not reflective of reality, it’s a construct in a certain way and it’s seen through the lens of a lot of male directors. So I think if we change the people making the movies we’ll see different relationships on film.”

In Home Again, Reese happily reverses the trend in a rarely seen onscreen coupling as she plays a 40-year-old woman who begins a romance with a 20-something man after splitting from her husband.

“I think there’s a really unique relationship between an older woman and a younger man in the film and I thought that I’d never really seen that on film, apart from maybe The Graduate, which is a completely different dynamic,” she explained of the film, which is helmed by first-time director Hallie Meyers-Shyer. “I thought it took a woman to think of a woman in her forties as being really appealing to a younger guy.”