Susan Sarandon has said she was told not to talk about having children “because that made you less sexy”.
The Oscar-winning actress and mother-of-three said she was given the advice during her early film career in the 70s.
She added that there “just aren’t that many stories of older men and women”.
The actress, who is executive producer of the film Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, wants to see more female protagonists and “women’s stories”.
The documentary tells the story of 1940s film star Lamarr who was as famous for her on-screen performances as she was for her personal life.
Lamarr was also responsible for a technological advancement that lead to the creation of wifi and Bluetooth.
Sarandon, who won an Oscar for Dead Man Walking in 1996, also starred in 1991’s Thelma and Louise and The Witches of Eastwick in 1987.
“I’m still working and there are tons of women around my age working,” she said, in response to the suggestion her career would fade after she turned 40.
‘Older men with 30-year-old girlfriends’
Sarandon said she appreciates the efforts of “female producers, writers and directors who are willing to try to get money for a female-driven story where all the characters are not 22”.
She cited this as the reason why women of her age were still working in the industry.
“Otherwise, there just aren’t that many stories of older men and women. I mean, there are stories of older men, but they always have 30-year old girlfriends,” she added.
There are several examples of big age gaps in Hollywood films, including 2000’s Autumn in New York, where Richard Gere’s 48-year-old character is in a relationship with a 22-year-old woman played by Winona Ryder.
In Entrapment (1999), Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery play a couple with a 39-year age-gap.
Despite those films being nearly two decades old, big age gaps are still going strong.
In 2013 film The Third Person, Liam Neeson’s character has an affair with Olivia Wilde’s in a romance drama – and he is more than double her age.
In 2015’s Focus, Will Smith’s love interest Margot Robbie is 22 years younger than him.