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I’m a huge fan of Harold and Maude, but winter-spring love affairs rarely swing in the way of older women. More often than not, older male actors are paired with younger actresses and it’s totally normalized without any attention being called to the fact that these people are likely in different life places with different emotional states (hell, I’m only two years younger than my boyfriend and even that sometimes feels like gulfs apart).

Well, Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi spoke out in an interview with The Standard about gendered age gaps and the sexism/misogyny therein. The 57-year-old actor, who plays the Twelfth Doctor, pointed out that it’s just plain weird to see so many instances of older men with younger women, mentioning specifically that most of his friends and their sig-o’s are of the same age range and would be unlikely to bring someone so many years their junior to a dinner party.  (Sidenote: the Time Lord evidently has dinner parties.)

Capaldi went on to point out that female actors are retired to the sidelines once they age past a certain point, which is not only unfair, but creates a skewed vision of the world.

“It is true that women reach a certain age when people decide that they’re not useful anymore as actors. There are a few significant theatrical roles that they might be viable for. That’s not fair, it’s not right, it’s not a proper reflection of what goes on in life.”

These complaints are far from new, but it’s nice to know that there’s an ally in Capaldi, who was responding to praise that there’s no sexual or romantic relationship between his character and Jenna Coleman’s. The 29-year-old plays Clara Oswald, the Doctor’s companion for the last three years. Coleman announced her exit from the show back in September.

Hopefully someone on the movers-and-shakers side takes note of Capaldi’s remarks along with the chorus of female consumers who have previously voiced the same, but until then we can rest assured that we won’t be blindsided by any funny stuff between the Doctor and his much younger companion.

 

(via The Mary Sue)

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Nandita Seshadri

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