By Brian D. Johnson - Monday, February 11, 2013 - 0 Comments
Aging movie stars are in no rush to give up the spotlight, and a good thing for studios, too.
Not so long ago, once a movie star reached a certain age, it was time to shuffle off into minor character parts—various grandparents, coots and crones—leaving the lead roles to less wrinkled faces. Hollywood was known to be no country for old men, or even middle-aged women. These days, however, that’s changing. Hollywood may still be addicted to youth and beauty, especially when it comes to the studio blockbusters that drive its economy. But as boomer icons hit their 60s and 70s, they seem to be in no rush to relinquish the spotlight. Like the Rolling Stones, movie stars are doubling down on their longevity.
Recently we’ve seen Arnold Schwarzenegger, 65, as a creaky, small-town sheriff battling a Mexican drug cartel in The Last Stand, and Sylvester Stallone, 66, baring cast-iron abs in Bullet to the Head, while Al Pacino, 72, and Christopher Walken, 69, play grumpy old gangsters in Stand Up Guys—with 78-year-old Alan Arkin as their wheelman, sprung from a nursing home and unhooked from oxygen. There’s a whiff of desperation about these attempts to keep screen legends in the game. Despite its droll performances, Stand Up Guys fell flat at the box office, as did the Schwarzenegger and Stallone vehicles, which critics dismissed as geriatric odes to the ’80s action genre. Though Clint Eastwood may have aged well, there’s something freakish about a leathery old gladiator. Continue…