Why Kate Beckinsale Doesn’t Get Many Movie Offers Anymore
Even as one of only a handful of female leads to carry a multi-million-dollar film franchise, Kate Beckinsale still feels unknown—or at the very least, perhaps unappreciated.
The supernaturally driven Underworld action series launched her film career into the blockbuster stratosphere and helped turn Beckinsale into an internationally recognized star, but over the long run, its success may also have contributed to a somewhat surprising professional stagnation. When Beckinsale is free to move, she’s capable of delivering highly acclaimed work—for example, just check out her appearance as Lady Susan Vernon in Whit Stillman’s 2016 Jane Austen adaptation, Love & Friendship. But in spite of what she’s proven she can do with the right script even if the story doesn’t involve vampires and werewolves, opportunities to display her dramatic chops have come far too infrequently. Why isn’t Hollywood offering Kate Beckinsale more opportunities to lead movies these days? Let’s take a look.
Hollywood Sea Change
For better or worse, the average cost to produce and market a wide-release film has skyrocketed over the last 30 years, and studios are no longer willing to take risks on small-budget indies or period dramas without major star power. Unfortunately, these are precisely the types of films in which Beckinsale has excelled, whether it be her small part as Ava Gardner in the lauded 2004 biopic The Aviator, her appearances in two Whit Stillman films, or even her role as Alex in the 2002 sleeper hit Laurel Canyon. The only major studio projects that really seem to gain consistent traction are mega-budget monster movies, superhero adventures, or disaster thrillers. With the big screen less hospitable than ever, it’s unsurprising that she’d turn to TV: in 2018, Beckinsale was announced as the star of the limited-run series The Widow, about a woman drawn into a dangerous quest after spotting her “late” husband on the news. Clearly, an actress of her talent and diverse résumé is always just the right script away from a comeback.
Beckinsale is in a kind of acting purgatory—simultaneously too old and too young to snatch up the more desirable roles in the industry. As critics have pointed out, there’s a strong (and arguably growing) strain of ageism in Hollywood directed specifically toward female actors. While male leads can work well into their 50s and 60s, female leads are more often than not left out of roles once they pass 40. As it stands, Beckinsale had only one credit listed for 2017 on her IMDb, a drama called The Only Living Boy in New York. In the movie, Beckinsale’s character plays a mistress who begins an affair with her lover’s son. The cast also includes Jeff Bridges, Callum Turner, and Kiersey Clemons, and working with established talent and rising stars can only be good for Beckinsale’s continued success in Hollywood. This doesn’t change the fact, however, that she was chosen for her role (as a mistress turned young man’s fantasy girl) precisely because of her age and her looks.
(Excerpt) Read More at: Looper.com