Sir Ian McKellen urges for more roles for mature actresses

June 6th, 2009 - 3:45 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 6 (ANI): ‘Lord of the Rings’ star Sir Ian McKellen has called for playwrights to create more stage and screen roles for older actresses.

McKellen backed a campaign by actors’ union Equity, which called on broadcasters to change their attitudes towards actresses aged over 45, in a bid to revive the British theatre and television.

Over 4,000 people, including Julie Walters and Harry Potter actress Imelda Staunton, have signed a petition supporting the cause.

Already, Hollywood actresses like Sharon Stone, 51 and Demi Moore, 45, have criticised the industry’s attitude towards older women.

“Look at Calendar Girls and Madame de Sade. Both are so popular - that is very telling,” the Telegraph quoted McKellen as saying in an interview with The Stage newspaper.

“People might have thought ‘Who wants to see plays about older women?’ Well, the general public do. An awful lot of older women and gentlemen go to the theatre, and the population is getting older.

“Plays about getting older are perhaps going to be more popular than they used to be and that should help playwrights think, well, we can find some fabulous parts for the fabulous actresses that are around.”

“Everybody wants to see actresses like Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. It’s just up to people to provide them with the material to do so,” he added.

The actor is currently starring in a West End production of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ - a play which features no female roles. (ANI)

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