Hollywood actors

In Hollywood, actors still lie about their age

An anonymous actress has sued a movie database for revealing her real age.

October 20, 2011 — — Keira Knightley could do it. Everyone thought Ashton Kutcher did it, but it turns out he didn’t. And it’s pretty obvious that singer Nelly really did. The thing the three celebrities have been accused of doing is not being candid about their real ages.

Knightley, of “Pirates of the Caribbean” fame, is listed as being born in 1985 or 1983 depending on which source you use. Singer Nelly was over the age when Teen People named him one of the hottest stars under 25 – sadly, he was 28 at the time. Kutcher was born in 1978, although he was accused of reducing his age by four years until a reporter finally found his birth certificate confirming he was born at the end – not the beginning – from the 70s.

The issue of celebrity age deception recently made headlines after an anonymous actress sued movie database IMDb for posting her real age on her online profile – a profile that casting directors and the public could regularly access.

According to court documents, the unnamed Texas actress was 40, but looked and portrayed herself much younger and posting her real age “would make it nearly impossible for the rising actress to find work.” The lawsuit claims the actress signed up for IMDbpro to get her profile on the site, then IMBb crossed public records using her credit card information to determine her age and posted that information online.

Bradley Jacobs, film editor at US Magazine, said while the public perception might be that this type of lawsuit is about vanity, it’s more about money. “For someone who is a struggling actress, being known as 39 when she was supposed to be seen as 34 is crucial to her bottom line,” Jacobs said. “The closer you get to 40, the further you are from being an ingenue. And there just aren’t many roles for women in their 40s. Goldie Hawn once delivered the line, there’s three roles in Hollywood for women – ingenue, district attorney and Driving Miss Daisy.”

The question of age is crucial not only for actors but also for writers. So much so that the Writers Guild of America West “raised concerns with IMDb about its age list” because those ages can so often be used to unfairly categorize all kinds of Hollywood workers, a said Neal Sacharow, director of communications for the industry. group. Sadly, Sacharow wrote in an email interview, “IMDb has refused to do anything to change its policy.”

IMDb, owned by Amazon.com Inc., did not respond to ABC News.com’s request for comment on its age-rating policy, but the website bills itself as “the most popular and trusted in the world for film, television and celebrity content”. precision can be its motivating factor.

But a noble quest for accuracy is probably cold comfort to Sandra Bullock, Salma Hayek and Cameron Diaz, actresses who have all been accused of citing less-than-accurate birthdates at various points in their careers. For the record, according to IMDb Bullock was born in 1964, Hayek in 1966 and Diaz in 1972.

Once Joan Rivers was asked if there was anything that made her angry when she read stories about herself and she replied “When they are my age”. And singer Cyndi Lauper has always refused to reveal her real age (June 22, 1953 according to IMDb) and told reporters who asked “What am I, a car?”

Years ago, when actors signed contracts to work for a particular studio and the studio system was much more controlled, an actor’s age was roughly whatever the boss of the studio said. Humphrey Bogart’s date of birth was December 25, 1900, even though he was born in 1899. And Katharine Hepburn reportedly avoided questions about his age and was known to deduct two years from his actual birth date of May 12, 1907.

But these days, any celebrity or aspiring celebrity interested in age modification is finding it increasingly difficult. Websites like Wikipedia and IMDb publish biographical data for the world to see. Public databases too.

And if everyone in your high school graduating class is posting pictures of your 10th grade reunion on Facebook, it’s pretty hard to tell people you’re still 18.

“Nowadays you kind of have to seal everything off at a young age and change your name if you really wanted to keep someone from knowing your real age,” Jacobs said.