Young women being paired off with much older men is so common in Hollywood films that you can understand why actresses don’t feel they can speak out against it. It would put them out of the running for a huge proportion of roles.
But Kaya Scodelario, star of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean instalment and Skins alumnus, has called out the sexist trend in a new interview. The 25-year-old was just 23 when she began shooting the film alongside an all-male cast in their 40s, 50s and 60s, and when asked whether Hollywood’s sexist double standard annoyed her, she didn’t hold back.
“It does. It’s like there’s this expiry date for us and it’s such bullshit, because my mind isn’t going to change. If anything, I will grow and I will learn and I will be better,” she said in an interview with The Guardian.
Scodelario said she feared being cast as the younger partner in an age-gap relationship in Pirates. “I was concerned that they would want me to play a romantic part against someone in their 50s and that would be heartbreaking. So I was extremely relieved that Brenton [Thwaites, who plays the son of Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner] is only a year older than me."
She added, damningly: "But, yeah, nine out of 10 times, if I read a script, it will be me being with a guy that is twice my age, which is really fucking weird.”
Unfortunately, Scodelario wasn’t asked what she thought about Disney continuing to employ her co-star Johnny Depp despite the domestic violence allegations made against him by his ex-wife Amber Heard.
When asked what drew her to the Pirates franchise, Scodelario said it was a longer-term calculation about the kinds of projects she wants to end up working on, rather than the film itself. “Doing a movie like this means I can finance my own independent movies and, eventually, that’s what I want to do, I want to produce and I want to work with female crews.”
Scodelario was also asked about Skins, which she left in 2009. The show was a big part of many of our teenagehoods, so it’s heartening to hear that the cast still meets up. Scodelario said they still get together for Christmas dinners and annual summer barbecues.
“Obviously, it’s weird because Nick [Nicholas Hoult] will turn up and he has just been in X-Men and Daniel [Kaluuya] is in Get Out now – what the hell? But we kind of get that out of the way in the first 10 minutes and then we go straight back to just joking around and being us.” N'aww.