Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sexy or serious, and thinking long-term

Scarlett Johansson was named Esquire magazine's "Sexiest Woman Alive" a few weeks ago (for the second time).  Here's what she said:

"The 28-year-old cover star tells the magazine that getting older isn't all fun and games for a woman in Hollywood (shame on you for thinking it was), explaining how 'pretty soon the roles you're offered are all mothers. Then they just sort of stop."  Full coverage in the Mirror here.

Well, it occurs to me that if an actress projects largely her sexuality onscreen - i.e. the depth of her cleavage or the perfect roundness of her bum - then the bloom really is starting to go off the rose at 28.  But why does Hollywood do that to women?

Playing a "cougar"
Marion Cotillard tore up the screen in La Vie en Rose, a 2007 French biopic about the legendary Edith Piaf.  She was wonderful. Yet in the 2010 Warner Brothers Sci-Fi film Inception she is reduced to little more than an artfully positioned potted plant. Lovely to look at, but what a waste of talent.

Do British actresses hope to be named the "sexiest woman alive"?

I was thinking about this today because I met with a young woman filmmaker for coffee yesterday and she remarked that, in addition to playing congresswomen and executives, I could play a "cougar," a woman who makes a play for younger men.

Actually I took one shot at that last year for a pilot. It was played for laughs.  I prefer being a congresswoman.