Jessica Chastain has been very matter-o-fact in her response to Russell Crowe's comments basically saying that actresses in Hollywood facing ageism is a myth.
According to Cosmopolitan Chastain, 37, said the Gladiator star appeared to have is "his foot stuck in his mouth" with his remarks about actresses above the age of 40 and the availability of roles for them.
In an exclusive interview with The Weekly this month – where 50-year-old Russell discusses his richly rewarding role in his new film, The Water Diviner, a film he also directed – the Oscar-winner commented that the type of mature actress complaining that all the good roles have dried up is "the woman who at 40, 45, 48, still wants to play the ingénue, and can't understand why she's not being cast as the 21-year-old."
Crowe was rather frank in his resistance of the notion that ageism exisits in his industry.
"Meryl Streep will give you 10,000 examples and arguments as to why that's bullshit, so will Helen Mirren, or whoever it happens to be. If you are willing to live in your own skin, you can work as an actor. If you are trying to pretend that you’re still the young buck when you’re my age, it just doesn't work."
Adding: "The point is, you do have to be prepared to accept that there are stages in life. So I can’t be the Gladiator forever."
But two-time Oscar-nominee Chastain, 37, found Crowe's comments literally laughable.
At the 2014 National Board of Review Awards Gala in New York on Tuesday the Zero Dark Thirty actress giggled as she weighed in.
"I think Russell keeps getting his foot stuck in his mouth," Cosmopolitan magazine quoted Chastain.
"There are some incredible actresses in their 50s and 60s that are not getting opportunities in films, and for someone to say there are plenty of roles for women that age ... [that] is not someone who's going to the movie theatre."
Chastain has played varied roles - from her ditzy young socialite character in The Help to her hard-core middle-aged CIA agent in Zero Dark Thirty - but has made no secret of the fact that as an actress, she feels a need to conceal her age to land jobs.
"I don't like revealing how old I am," The Telegraph quoted Chastain as saying in 2011. "I played a teenager in a movie recently (Jolene) and Brad Pitt's wife (Tree of Life) in another, so I like to think I can be any age I need to be."
But according to Vanity Fair, as Crowe predicted, Meryl Streep, who is currently promoting film Into the Woods, is in agreement with her fellow Oscar-winner.
With signature Meryl Streep-esque poise the 65-year-old actress waived off any criticism of Crowe and said she had no problem with his comments.
"The Russell Crowe thing, I'm so glad you asked about [it]," Streep reportedly told one inquisitive journalist at a press conference for her new film, where she plays an old witch.
"I read what he said—all of what he said . . . [his statements] have been misappropriated . . . what he was talking about. He was talking about himself."
The three-time Academy Award-winner said Crowe had applied the same age standards to his own career and was merely "proving a point", adding she felt he was generally "talking about himself as most actors do."
"'He said, 'I'm too old. I can't be the Gladiator anymore. I'm playing parts that are appropriate to my age," Streep said.
Adding: "I agree with him. It’s good to live within the place that you are."
According to The Telegraph, upon turning 40 the veteran actress said she was appalled to be offered three separate witch roles but 25 years on she is happy to play one because she felt it was "age appropriate."
"I felt it was time, and it was not time at 40." Streep told The Telegraph.
"And also, I just had a political sort of reaction against the concept of old women being demonised and age being this horrifying, scary thing. I just didn't like that. I didn't like it when I was a little girl, I don't like it now.
"But this is a complex film. Every person is at war with themselves, everybody is after something and they're willing to compromise everything to get it."