Say what? Elizabeth Banks was told she was “too old” for “Spiderman”

Whether Elizabeth Banks is playing Effie in The Hunger Games or Gail in Pitch Perfect, she slays, so we’re super confused by this news that the actress wasn’t cast to play Mary Jane Watson in the original Spiderman because she was “too old.” Vanity Fair reports that in a recent issue of Glamour UK, the star, now 42, opened up about the audition process and the crazy reason she wasn’t given the role.

After doing a screen test opposite Tobey Maguire, who was 27 at the time, Elizabeth was rejected because of her age. She was 28.

“I was told I was too old to play her,” she explained. “Tobey and I are basically the same age. I was like, ‘Oh, okay, that’s what I’ve signed up for.’”


Instead, the role of Mary Jane Watson went to Kirsten Dunst. We love Kirsten, and she did an amazing job at the role, but she was also 10 years younger, which proves that there was definitely some ageism and sexism at play.

“I was a nobody,” Elizabeth said. “I had no expectations of even being in that movie.”

However, she was given a small role as Betty Brant as a “consolation prize.”

While Elizabeth is definitely not a “nobody” anymore, that doesn’t mean we aren’t angered on her behalf that she experienced age discrimination. We hope by speaking out, she’ll be a part of some much-needed change in the industry.

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