Elizabeth Banks Was Considered Too Old To Play Mary Jane In Spider-Man At 28

Photo: Can Nguyen/REX/Shutterstock.
In case we hadn't yet established that ageism in Hollywood is a thing, hear this. At the tender age of 28, Elizabeth Banks was deemed too old to play Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man. Note that Toby McGuire was 27 when he took on the leading role in the movie. Sigh. “I screen-tested for the role of Mary Jane Watson in the first Spider-Man movie, opposite Tobey Maguire," the actress and director told Glamour U.K., according to The Guardian. "Tobey and I are basically the same age and I was told I was too old to play her. I’m like, ‘Oh, okay, that’s what I’ve signed up for.’” The role went to Kirsten Dunst, who was 18 at the time. Sadly, this is not too surprising. After all, Maggie Gyllenhaal was considered too old at 37 to play a 55-year-old man's love interest. Clearly, when ageism and sexism combine, you get some pretty enraging casting decisions.

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