According to surveys from different countries, only 2% of actors can make a living from acting and the other 98% are unemployed. Now imagine being part of that 2 percent of actors in your 20s but being overlooked by casting directors in your 40s. That can take a toll on anyone’s self-confidence.
We at Impresionante wanted to tell you all about the celebrities that have talked about their struggles with getting old in the industry and retirement, and what they’ve learned in the process.
1. Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt is a Hollywood star that has made a very successful career through acting. From Fight Club to Inglorious Basterds he has given us incredible performances that will go down in history. The 58-year-old actor started his career in 1987 by making some TV appearances.
In 2020, during an award ceremony, the actor joked about his age, he said, “I’m old, I’ve been around a while.” He also said, “I can’t stand night shoots anymore. I would gladly hand a stunt over to a stuntman.” He even joked about an iconic film he was in by saying, “I no longer remember the first rule of Fight Club.”
Lately, Brad has been thinking about his retirement as an actor. In a recent interview, Pitt said, “I consider myself on my last leg.” The movie star declared that this might be his last semester or trimester and that he is focused on how that’s going to be. Even though we’ll definitely miss him on the big screen, we wish the best for his future plans as a producer and a businessman.
2. Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas is a very well-known figure in Hollywood, he won an Academy Award for best actor in Wall Street. Coming from parents that were actors themselves, it was very clear and obvious what he would do for the rest of his life, since it ran through his veins. Michael has been active as an actor from 1966 to today, at 77 years old.
In an interview, while he was promoting a movie, Douglas was asked about what aging has been like for him. So the actor responded jokingly with a smile, “It’s very depressing,” he proceeded to mention an advantage to aging which is being more comfortable with yourself. He even added that with digital cinema and special effects, he will probably be able to look like he did in his younger years.
“My dream is to be a young man with the knowledge that I have now” is what Douglas said he wished for. When asked about retirement he said, “Retiring gives the impression that you’re so relieved that your job is over whereas we love our job,” talking about him and Robert De Niro who was seated next to him.
3. Robert De Niro
“I’m not a person who thinks about retirement. I don’t know what I would do if I retired,” said Robert De Niro in an interview, and we were relieved to hear them because we love watching him in films. The acclaimed actor has been in the acting business since 1965 and hasn’t stopped since.
The actor also talked about living life and seizing opportunities to enjoy yourself while on a movie set, saying, “If I’m in a location somewhere, if I have a day off I try to see around, I’ll never know if I’ll be back there again.”
4. Chris Hemsworth
The beloved actor who plays Thor in the MCU, has talked about how, at the beginning of his career, he felt more freedom to explore with his roles, and he sees himself now trying to get back to that feeling.
When choosing what films to be a part of, he said that at the beginning he was trying to picture what the audience wanted to see from him, but now he has been trying to choose what he likes. “If I’m going to be away from my family and kids, it better be worth it,” the actor expressed.
5. Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway has blown us away with performances in movies like Les Misérables and Interstellar. The actress has been around since she was 17 years old, and jumped into the spotlight at 18 years old with The Princess Diaries.
According to Anne, at the beginning of her career she made a conscious decision of trying to make many different films so that she could get comfortable with being in different genres and playing different characters. Now in order to play a character she considers whether the character is worth her leaving her life and family for a while.
6. Judi Dench
Judi Dench has been in TV and films since 1959, and at 87 years old, she doesn’t seem to want to quit anytime soon. Even though she’s one of the most celebrated actors of her generation, she recalled that initially she wanted to be a set designer.
Now her phone still won’t stop ringing for new characters to play, but the mischievous actress said that she wanted to play “who everyone thinks is a kindly, saintly, beatified kind of person, and she’s actually killing people.”
7. Andie MacDowell
“I’m tired of the clichés,” said actress Andie MacDowell while in an interview, referring to the way women and men are portrayed in the media. “Men get to be imperfect and women have to be much younger and perfect,” said the actor.
The movie star has been vocal about how older men are portrayed as sexy and mature, but when it comes to older women, they don’t get the part as the love interest. The female love interest has to be younger than the man. She even added that she has been asked, “How does it feel to turn 40 years old and to know you’re not gonna work anymore?” which indicates that something has to change in Hollywood.
Cher is an icon, she’s one of the few singers that have been able to transition from singing to acting and the other way around. Cher has said that she hates aging, since it’s not as fun as being young.
“When I was working on the road, we used to work 2 shows a night and then go out dancing all night long,” and now she hasn’t been able to do that. In an interview, Cher said that maybe one day she’ll retire, but for now that’s not going to happen since her voice has never been better.
9. Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan is one of the most iconic action movies stars ever. We remember him fondly from movies like Rush Hour and Police Story where he would perform his own, very dangerous, action stunts. While performing wild stunts, the actor even endured serious injuries like a fractured skull and impaired hearing.
The 68-year-old actor has always executed incredible stunts, but as he gets older, it must be very difficult to achieve them without damaging your health. Jackie has talked about retiring from doing his own stunts, saying, “I need to do less of the life-risking stunts in my movies. I need to take better care of my body, so I can keep working.”
In an interview, he talked about the process of being hired to be an updated version of Mr. Miyagi. The actor joked about Will Smith calling his office to ask him to be in the new Karate Kid movie and him replying, “Okay, I’ll be the Karate Kid, but who’s the teacher?” Jackie thought he was going to play the Karate Kid, he said, “I already forget how old I am, I still think I’m the kid.”
We are happy that the action movie star has decided to not stop doing action films yet. Though Jackie said, “I hope the audience, after they say, ‘Jackie, that’s a double!,’ they forgive me,” and we can certainly say that we forgive him.
10. Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston is an incredible actress. She has been in the business since 1988 and her first appearance was as an extra in a movie.
In a recent interview, she talked about how the industry has changed with more streaming services and people becoming famous “for doing nothing.” The actress also said, “I feel so lucky that I got a little taste of the industry before it became what it is today” and “It’s almost like it’s diluting the actor’s job.”
Jennifer said that she has found a love for her work in recent years and that she wants to do more comedy — so we’re ready to laugh along with her in her future projects.
Did you ever think that actors could face difficulties by getting older? What are some difficulties you’ve had to deal with because of your age? Share them with us in the comments.
Photo credit: East News, Getty