Lange airs it out

Actress grateful for not being considered for 'macho, airhead, testosterone action films'

This article was corrected on March. 6, 2003.

When Jessica Lange received her Crystal Award at the 24th annual Women in Film luncheon Friday at the Century Plaza Hotel, she had much more to say then a simple thank you.

Looking back on her 25 years as an actress, Lange shared a few grievances with the audience of 1,500.

“I find a different atmosphere, (now) where the definition of success is to be No. 1 at the box office. Now we get caught up in Oscar campaigns and Oscar races,” Lange said during the event, emceed by Goldie Hawn and daughter Kate Hudson.

Lange also had a few observations about the different realities facing actors and actresses in choosing their roles.

“I’d liked to point out one of the great things about being 50 in this industry, and that is the absolute concrete assurance that women my age will never be considered for a role in one of these macho, airhead, testosterone action films — and for that I am grateful,” she said.

Lange added that she finds it “silly” for male actors her age play in such films opposite “deep-cleavaged” female actresses who are 20 years younger. And she needled Hollywood for believing it’s “daring” for women in their 40s to be portrayed as sexually active.

Tommy Lee Jones was on hand to present the Crystal to Lange, as was Steven Spielberg, who handed the Dorothy Arzner Directors Award to director Mimi Leder.

Other recipients included Barbara Boyle, prexy of Valhalla Motion Pictures, whose award was presented by Valhalla chairman Gale Anne Hurd; and Nikki Rocco, prexy of Universal Pictures Distribution who was presented her award by Ron Meyer, president and chief operating officer of Universal Studios.

“It is overwhelming,” Rocco said. “With all the years that I have admired Women in Film, I never thought that I would be standing here accepting an award.”

Pauletta Washington was on hand to receive the Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award for she and husband Denzel’s many charitable contributions. The actor was not able to attend the event due to a flight delay.

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