Is J. Law Stealing Roles From Older Actresses?

Jennifer Lawrence is everywhere these days. Her role in American Hustle snagged her the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. The latest installment of the X-Men franchise, X-Men: Days of Futures Past has her blue-paint-covered body plastered on all of their posters. Lawrence has been able to (awesomely) play roles in teen-centric franchises (The Hunger Games) and award-winning films like Silver Linings Playbook (for which she won an Oscar) and American Hustle, both directed by David O. Russell. Now, according to reports, J. Law is wanted for yet another one of David O. Russell's films. According to Deadline, O. Russell wants Lawrence for his biopic on the life of the inventor of the self-wringing Miracle Mop, Joy Mangano.

I've written before about how much I love that Lawrence gets the opportunity to break out of the teen franchise box and score Oscar nods along the way — I mentioned that I thought it was great that she was casted older in many of her films, such as she was in Silver Linings Playbook — the film that scored her the Best Actress Oscar. And after some quick math (Mangano graduated from college in 1978 and the mop planning first started 12 years later, in 1990) I realized that if J. Law takes the role in this biopic, the 24-year-old will play a single mom at least ten years older than the actress currently is. And maybe that's not as awesome as I thought it was.

While I'm sure that Lawrence would be able to play that role well — she is an incredibly talented actress — aren't there a ton of actresses in their thirties or forties who would be able to really kill the part? I understand that Russell loves working with Lawrence and sees a part of Joy Mangano in J. Law, but at the same time I wonder if she is really the best choice for the role. Wouldn't someone with more experience — and, yes, more years under her belt — be a more suitable fit?

I wouldn't go as far as saying that Lawrence is really taking roles from older actresses — many of the people she is competing with for a role include actresses like Angelina Jolie or Anne Hathaway, stars hardly hurting for parts — I do realize that, over time, having younger actresses playing older roles can only hurt women in film. If we learn to expect 35-year-old women to look as fresh faced as Lawrence, what incentive do we have for showing women at all walks of life?

Maybe this role of Miracle Mop mogul Mangano should go to a female actress who fits the age. Surely there are more than enough great actresses who would be phenomenal in the role. As much as it feels sacrilege to say this right now, J. Law might want to sit this one out.