Every time we think things are getting better for women in Hollywood, something comes along to remind us — naaah.
Maggie Gyllenhaal, an Oscar nominee getting Emmy buzz for her work on the Sundance miniseries "The Honourable Woman," reveals that she was recently turned down for a role in a movie because she was too old to play the love interest for a 55-year-old man.
"There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood that surprise me all the time," she says during an interview for an upcoming issue of TheWrap Magazine. "I'm 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made feel angry, and then it made me laugh."
Maggie Gyllenhaal on Hollywood ageism: I was told 37 is 'too old' for a 55-year-old love interest
Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal and her husband Peter on arrival for the 40th anniversary of the Gracies Awards in Beverly Hills, California on May 19, 2015, presented by The Alliance for Women in Media. AFP PHOTO/ FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 29: Actors Maggie Gyllenhaal (L) and Liev Schreiber speak during Variety Studio Actors on Actors presented by Autograph Collection Hotels on March 29, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. on March 29, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Variety)
Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal holds the award for Best Actress - Mini-Series or TV Movie for her role in 'The Honourable Woman', in the press room at the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards, January 11, 2015 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Actors Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal attend the opening night of 'The Real Thing' on Broadway at American Airlines Theatre on October 30, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Actress and star of SundanceTV's 'The Honorable Woman' Maggie Gyllenhaal speaks at the 2014 Women in Cable Telecommunications Touchstones Luncheon on September 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Women in Cable Telecommunications)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 04: Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the Lexus Design Disrupted: Gareth Pugh fashion show during MADE Fashion Spring 2015 at Pier 36 on September 4, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 08: Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the first annual Village Fete at Pioneer Works on May 4, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal attend the Costume Institute Gala for the 'PUNK: Chaos to Couture' exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for People.com)
ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 29: Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the 6th Rome Film Festival at Lancia Cafe on October 29, 2011 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Lancia)
ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 28: Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the 'Hysteria' Premiere at Auditorium Parco Della Musica on October 28, 2011 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Lancia)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 15: Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal arrives at the 'Hysteria' Premiere during the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival held at the Roy Thomson Hall on September 15, 2011 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 16: Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the Meet The Filmmakers: 'Nanny McPhee Returns' at the Apple Store Soho on August 16, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 24: Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the 'Nanny McPhee And The Big Bang' world film premiere at the Odeon West End on March 24, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 09: Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal attends the Gen Art & Soy Joy Presents 'Fashionably Natural' fashion show to kick of Los Angeles Spring 2009 Fashion week hosted by Maggie Gyllenhaal, on October 9, 2008 at the Petersen Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
The San Diego State University's Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that there are fewer jobs available for leading actresses since female characters made up just 12 percent of protagonists in the top 100 domestic-grossing films of 2014. This figure is 3 percent below 2013's study and 4 percent below the number in 2002.
Gyllenhaal declined to specify the project on which she was considered too old, but we're wide open to suggestions. What's casting out there with a 55-year-old leading man?
And despite the recent slam, Gyllenhaal said she was hopeful for women. "A lot of actresses are doing incredible work right now, playing real women, complicated women," says the actress, who won a Golden Globe in January for her role in "The Honourable Woman" as an Anglo-Israeli businesswoman. "I don't feel despairing at all. And I'm more looking with hope for something fascinating."