Elizabeth Banks has revealed she auditioned for the role of Mary Jane opposite Toby Maguire in Spider-Man but she was unsuccessful because of her age.
“I was told I was too old to play her,” Banks tells Glamour UK of the Marvel character.
While Banks admits that she was 28 at the time and that could be understandable considering the character was in high-school, she felt it was discrimination because Toby Maguire was just one year younger than her and was cast in the role.
“Tobey and I are basically the same age. I was like, ‘Oh, OK, that’s what I’ve signed up for.’”
“It’s fine. I’m a lot older than Kirsten Dunst, so I get it. I’m not much older than Tobey, but. . .But I got it back then,” Banks added when recounting the same story at a press junket back in 2008. “And I was a nobody. I had no expectations of even being in that movie. The casting director called and said, ‘As a consolation prize essentially do you want to be Betty Brant?’ So it started out as a consolation prize and it’s become a favour.’”
Banks went on to star in the film as Betty Brant, the Daily Bugle secretary with a fondness for Peter.
Sadly Banks’ story is an all-to familiar one, with Olivia Wilde also revealing earlier this year that she auditioned for the role of Leo’s wife in Wolf of Wall Street.
"The funniest thing I heard recently was, I heard that I was too sophisticated," Wilde told Howard Stern back in March.
"I thought, 'Oh, that sounds nice. I like that feedback. I didn't get the part but I'm a very sophisticated person.' And then I found out later they actually said old. I want to make a translation sheet for Hollywood that's all the feedback your agents give you and what it really means."
FYI Olivia is 32 and Leo is 41.
37-year-old Maggie Gyllenhaal also revealed she was deemed ‘too old’ to play the love interest of a 55-year-old star.
“There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood that surprise me all the time,” the actress told The Wrap.
“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.”
Honestly Hollywood, really?