Perpetual bachelor George Clooney wants more babes in Hollywood — preferably well-seasoned babes. The Descendants star teamed up with Viola Davis to cover Entertainment Weekly and chat about how women get the short end of the stick in Hollywood, especially when it comes to getting good roles as they age.
“There’s this strange thing that’s happened over the last 25 or 30 years where there’s this decision being made that women aren’t able to carry the box office,” Clooney told the magazine.
“Now, Bridesmaids has proved that to be bulls**t, and The Help has proven it to be bulls**t. But it’s much harder to get a film with a woman lead made. When a man hits 40 is when roles just begin to happen. And for women it doesn’t happen. I find that to be a very concerning issue.”
Viola Davis said it’s even worse out there for black actresses.
“Only one black actress in history has been back [at the Oscars] more than once, and that’s Whoopi Goldberg. But that’s only because there aren’t a lot of roles out there that are going to bring you back. Say if you have two great roles for an African-American actress in a year — one actress can cover it. So if there’s five really good black actresses out there, and that one actress gets it all, then the other four can sit for the next three years.”
Davis is being hyped for an Oscar nomination for her role in The Help, which would put her in pretty lofty company. “Can you wrap your mind around someone throwing you into the ring with Meryl Streep?” she said. “I just don’t understand the competition thing. How can you compare two actors’ performances? How do you say one is better than the other?”
“I know how you do it,” Clooney chimed in. “You have to play Margaret Thatcher and she has to play the maid.”
Read the entire interview with George Clooney and Viola Davis in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Jan. 6.