Blake Lively Is Apparently “Too Old” For Her Latest Role, Why Isn’t Her Male Co-Star Getting The Same Scrutiny?
Ryle is supposed to be 30 years old, and yet Baldoni is 39 years old. So is the age of a man that irrelevant when it comes to Hollywood casting? Or has the patriarchy just made us blind to it? Reactions to casting news are much more likely to focus on why a woman’s looks, age or relationship history may make her “wrong” or “right” for a role, and not her male counterpart.
A man seems to be automatically accepted, probably partially due to the much smaller focus on the male ageing journey.
The instinct to overanalyse Baldoni’s place at the table, whether he can do the story justice, whether he “fits” what fans imagined for his character, is just not as strong as the internalised temptation to discredit a woman’s place and hard work.
The fixation on Lively’s suitability to her role over Baldoni’s is made more dark and frustrating when you consider that Baldoni is not just the male lead – he’s the director of It Ends With Us.
This is yet another example of men holding the most power over a much-loved Hollywood project – that was incidentally written by a woman – with no question of their legitimacy. All that scrutiny is saved for Lively.
So while fans may be fair in questioning whether Blake Lively should play a character 12 years her junior, perhaps we should all work harder to make sure our critiques consider all parts of the equation and any other power inequalities and age discrepancies at play.
And, most crucially, we should never overlook the male-dominated power structures that so often dictate decisions made in Hollywood, universal beauty standards and how we live our lives and form opinions.