Here’s today’s interesting read: a long piece in the Hollywood Reporter about the supposed resurgence of over-40 actresses — a category that was once considered career death (unless you were Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren). I’m not quite sure things have changed all that much: a study at the end of the piece points out that the number of over-40 female characters in movies did not change meaningfully between 2007 and 2012 (and that male characters of that age outnumber females 4 to 1 — a ratio not reflective of real life). Nonetheless, some fascinating details for those who follow the movie biz; here are a few highlights:
— Melissa McCarthy’s lead role in “Identity Thief” was originally planned for a man. (That’s progress, but too bad the role wasn’t better written.)
— Cameron Diaz is considered to be the highest-paid over-40 actress in Hollywood (she’s just 40), after earning $42 million for “Bad Teacher.” (Much of Diaz’s earnings came from a deal that gave her a percentage of the gross box-office; the highest base salary for an actress, of any age, was Angelina Jolie’s $20 million for “Salt.”)
— The famous “Q ratings,” which essentially measure a performer’s likability and connection with the public, this year have Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks tied for the top spot among film stars.
— Both Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett are currently developing HBO movies based on movies: Kidman’s is the suspense drama “Deconstructing Amelia” (just read the book myself; should make a good movie); Blanchett’s at work on the memoir “Cancer Vixen,” about a cartoonist with breast cancer. Also on television: Helena Bonham Carter is playing Elizabeth Taylor for a BBC movie, and you can see a photo of her as Liz here — and yes, she looks just right.