With a new movie coming out, and a number of beloved indie hits under her belt, you might be surprised to hear that Jenny Slate isn't exactly optimistic about her future. "I woke up this morning like, 'Ugh, my career's over,'" she said in an interview for the podcast Talk Easy With Sam Fragoso. The star, who won hearts as Mona Lisa Saperstein in Parks and Recreation and Donna in Obvious Child, appears alongside Abby Quinn and Edie Falco in the upcoming movie Landline, but despite these incredible roles, Slate reveals that these opportunities have been few and far between.
"There aren't a lot of good parts," she continued. "Everybody says it and they've said it for forever. But I am not seeing a lot of stuff coming my way. I think all of a sudden I was like, 'Oh I guess there is a thing where they want the 23-year-olds more than they want women of my age, even though I think I'm young and fresh and vibrant.'"
It's not that the 35-year-old can't find any parts, but that she has hard and fast rules of what projects she will and won't take on. For instance, no network TV — unless it's a bit part like Mona Lisa, which was written for her by a friend. She says she wouldn't be happy sticking to one show in one role for seven years, unless it was a show like Transparent, where each episode is "art."
"I don't want to be in a big bad studio comedy," she adds. "And be a version of what men think women are. And that is majorly happening still."
Like many issues for women in Hollywood, this boils down to sexism. It shouldn't be difficult for someone like Slate to find challenging, nuanced roles at just 35-years-old, especially since she's proved that she's more than capable of owning them. We definitely don't want to lose her from our screens, so it's time for Hollywood to shape up.