Joely Richardson On Ageism In Hollywood: “Zero People Wanted A Woman Over 50”

Joely Richardson is talking about ageism in Hollywood and how she had to pivot to start getting work again.

The Nip/Tuck alum was a guest on ITV’s This Morning, where she opened up about all the projects she’s currently involved in, such as Netflix’s The Gentlemen and One Day and Disney+’s Renegade Nell.

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Although Richardson has a lot of work now, it wasn’t always like that, and the actress noticed a change after she turned 50. Richardson recalled that when her agent “retired young to be with her mom,” she was looking for a new agent and didn’t find much luck.

“I went to get another agent, and it was like no one wanted me,” she told the morning show co-hosts Ben Shephard and Cat Deeley. “And so, even though I had Golden Globe nominations, and blah, blah, blah, zero people wanted a woman over 50.”

Richardson eventually got new agents and said they “started finding little ins wherever we could, doing The Sandman (also Netflix), Lady Chatterley’s [Lover] playing the northern housekeeper Mrs. Bolton, just like trying to sort of get through the door so people would consider me for roles. And then, they started to come.”

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The former Nip/Tuck star called being on the Ryan Murphy show a “dream” and after the series ended, “wanted to do something else” and returned to theater and “did lots of Off-Broadway productions.”

“I needed that,” she added about doing theater after the FX series. “It was like a lovely bridge.”

Richardson had some advice for Shephard, who is about to turn 50 later this year, telling him, “Enjoy 49. And what I say about 50 is 50 is like a thing to get your head around. But the minute you’re over that day, you’ll settle into it, and you’ll realize you’re free. That’s what the last third of my life is about — it’s about being free. No less worried about what people think of you. What should I be doing? What is success? You just get to be you.”

Watch Richardson’s full interview in This Morning in the video below.

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