Liv Tyler: at 38, I'm a second-class citizen in Hollywood

Liv Tyler

Lord of the Rings star says exciting ‘ingenue’ parts have dried up on the big screen, even though she has not yet turned 40

Liv Tyler believes she has become a “second-class citizen” in Hollywood at the age of just 38 due to film-industry sexism.

Interviewed in More magazine, the Lord of theRings star said lead movie roles that did not require playing somebody’s wife or girlfriend were few and far between, despite the fact she has not yet turned 40.

“Thirty-eight is a crazy number,” said Tyler. “It’s not fun when you see things start to change. When you’re in your teens or 20s, there is an abundance of ingenue parts which are exciting to play. But at [my age], you’re usually the wife or the girlfriend — a sort of second-class citizen. There are more interesting roles for women when they get a bit older.”

Tyler, currently starring in the HBO TV series The Leftovers, joins Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Helen Mirren, Sandra Bullock, Salma Hayek and Maggie Gyllenhaal, among a growing group of high-profile Hollywood stars who have criticised the film industry’s struggle with ageism and sexism.

Hathaway, 32, lamented recently that twentysomething actors were beating her to roles, though she admitted the sexist dynamic aided her younger self.

“I can’t complain about it because I benefited from it. When I was in my early 20s, parts would be written for women in their 50s and I would get them,” she told Glamour. “Now I’m in my early 30s and I’m like: ‘Why did that 24-year-old get that part?’ I was that 24-year-old once. I can’t be upset about it, it’s the way things are.”

Tyler, whose high-profile big-screen roles have been few and far between in the past half-decade, said she missed film because television is so unpredictable. “With a film, you have the script, and you know the beginning, middle and end,” she said. “With TV, they write as they go. I have no idea what my character is going to be doing … which is frustrating. Part of me loves it, and part of me hates it, having no control.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Thursday 24th September 2015 10.41 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010