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16 preposterous movie age gaps that prove men can't act opposite women their own age

*strokes chin*

HAVE YOU EVER been watching a film and thought to yourself, “Okay, she’s way too young to be going out with him”?

Of course you have! Young actresses are often cast opposite significantly older men and we’re supposed to just accept it and move on.

Here are some especially large age gaps between male and female leads.

1. Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, Begin Again

'Begin Again' Photocall, London Source: Lexie Appleby/Geisler-Fotopress

Age difference: 18 years

There may be an 18-year age gap between Knightley and Ruffalo, but that basically makes them peers in Hollywood terms.

2. Brie Larson and Mark Wahlberg, The Gambler

'The Gambler' Premiere - New York Source: John Barrett

Age difference: 18 years

In which Brie Larson plays a student who seduces her professor Mark Wahlberg. Classic thing that always happens!

3. Scarlett Johansson and Jon Favreau, Chef


Age difference: 18 years

In which Jon Favreau, actor/director, casts Scarlett Johansson to play his love interest. We see what you did there, Jon.

4. Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, mother!

insta Source: YouTube

Age difference: 21 years

Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem play a married couple in the forthcoming horror, mother! Perfectly normal and not worth commenting on it at all.

5. Margot Robbie and Will Smith, Focus

Focus - world premiere Source: DPA/PA Images

Age difference: 22 years

Because God forbid Will Smith act opposite a woman in her thirties, right?

6. Denzel Washington and Kelly Reilly, Flight

Flight Premiere - Paris Source: Wyters Alban

Age difference: 23 years

*strokes chin*

7. Anne Heche and Harrison Ford, Six Days, Seven Nights


Age difference: 25 years

In which 29-year-old Anne Heche falls for 57-year-old Harrison Ford. I know it’s Harrison Ford, but come on. 

8. Dakota Johnson and Johnny Depp, Black Mass

40th Toronto International Film Festival Source: DPA/PA Images

Age difference: 26 years


9. Emma Stone and Colin Firth in Magic in the Moonlight

Magic in the Moonight Premiere Source: Marechal Aurore

Age difference: 28 years

This is directed by Woody Allen, king of the age gaps, so this ought not to come as a surprise.

10. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart

b Source: YouTube

Age difference: 28 years

“Maggie, we’ve got a great role for you. You play Jeff Bridges’ romantic interest.”

“But I’m still in my 30s.”

“That’s Hollywood, baby.”

11. Michael Keaton and Andrea Riseborough, Birdman


Age difference: 30 years

Again, lol.

12. Olivia Wilde and Liam Neeson

os Source: YouTube

Age difference: 32 years


13. Ben Kingsley and Mary Kate Olsen, The Wackness

be Source: People

Age difference: 42.5 years

I’d say she was, yeah.

14. Larry David and Evan Rachel Wood, Whatever Works


ks Source: Daily Dish

Age difference: 40 years

We’ll say this for them: their characters never kiss. Still, though. Icky.

15. Imogen Poots and Michael Douglas, Solitary Man

009STM_Imoogen_Poots_004 Source: YouTube

Age difference: 45 years

From the Wikipedia:

Ben (Michael Douglas), who cheated often on his wife Nancy Kalmen (Susan Sarandon), accompanies Allyson (Imogen Poots), the 18-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, Jordan Karsch (Mary-Louise Parker), to her college interview at a Boston college campus where Ben is an alumnus, having been a prominent donor during his more prosperous days. On campus, Ben meets an impressionable student named Daniel (Jesse Eisenberg) who appreciates his wisdom and advice. Later that night, Ben and Allyson sleep together.


Purely accidental. Couldn’t help it at all.

16. Lily Collins and Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply

Age difference: 52 years

Hollywood: where men in their 70s can still cast themselves opposite women in their 20s.


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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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