Naomi Watts Was Told Her Career Would Be ‘Over at 40’: ‘That Just Made Me So Mad’

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A lot of actresses hear it all the time — this is a young person’s game.

Naomi Watts, 54, can attest. She said she was told her career would end at the age of 40. She admitted that’s not a big surprise, given society’s focus on youthfulness. That is especially the case in Hollywood.

“I was told, ‘You better get a lot done because it’s all over at 40 when you become unf–kable,'” she told Entertainment Weekly. “And I’m like, ‘What? What does that mean exactly?’ Then you think about it, and you go, ‘Oh, right. When you are no longer reproductive, when those organs are no longer functioning, you are not sexy, so, therefore, you are not hirable.’ That just made me so mad.”

Naomi Watts in THE WATCHER

Watt’s early career saw her star in films such as Under the Lighthouse Dancing, Mulholland Drive, 21 Grams and Elie Parker. She is still going strong, of course, playing the mother character in Goodnight Mommy, a movie she also executive produced.

In other words, she didn’t listen to the theory that she was supposed to be done long ago.

“It’s such an awkward conversation because, from day one, we begin our aging process. It’s something we just all have to get comfortable with and women are asked to do it more than men,” she told EW. “We don’t talk about a man aging hardly ever. We don’t talk about his gray hair. In fact, if we do, it’s like, ‘Oh, he gets more handsome, more desirable, more powerful.’ And why is he powerful? Because he’s accumulated experiences.”

Women beyond the age of 40 have plenty to offer, Watts added.

“We’ve got important and powerful experiences as well at this age that we should feel proud of,” she said.

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