back to article Bit-part actress slings sueball at IMDb over age gripe

An actress who claims work dried up after her age was revealed on movie compendium website IMDb is suing the Amazon-owned company. The identity of the minor TV star had remained anonymous until a lawsuit was filed last Friday revealing Huong Hoang from Texas was slinging a sueball at the site. The actress, whose stage name is …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    profile boost

    This article will make her more bankable than any of the previous 10 years of her work.

    Check back on her imdb pro next week when the hit-meter stats are updated and look at what a boost this article and others will have given her. Seeing as most producers use this imdb pseudo measurement as a yard-stick for bankability on obscure actors, this will definitely help her career.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Holmes

      No such thing as bad publicity

      Or, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

      In related news, I expect a sudden resurgence of interest in certain bearded, rotund celebrity chefs...

      1. Pete 6
        IT Angle

        And all this talking has her rocketing into the top 100 actors on IMDB already. Was at #99 as of this posting.

      2. oddie
        Happy

        Yep...

        Watch Gary Glitters career take off any day now...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Yawn...

    Another washed up faliure whom is having a mid life crisis....

    You live, you get old, you die...Trillions before you, squillions after..Deal with it...

    Daft twat.....

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      A washed up failure ?

      Given the amount of films she has appeared in since Y2K, I don't think the term "failure" applies.

      Mid-life crises certainly, but not failure.

      1. c-hri-s
        Facepalm

        "Given the amount of films she has appeared in since Y2K, I don't think the term "failure" applies."

        Yes, such memorable appearances as "Girl In Bar" (The Communicator), "Woman" (Take Out), "Tough Asian" (Back on Topps), "Ghetto Girl Three" (Hoodrats 2: Hoodrat Warriors) and "Triage Nurse" (I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant) ... and a bunch of other extra parts.

        She's definitely hit the big time ...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @c-hri-s

          So "c-hri-s" what have you done with your life that's so amazingly stunning that you consider yourself in such a superior position you can criticise what others have done with theirs? Hmmm?

          Almost every one starts at the bottom and if they work hard and make a few lucky breaks, they might get big in their chosen field, be that acting, music, sciences, humanitarian causes, etc. Some others work bloody hard and never get the breaks no matter how hard they try.

          So if you ever bother trying to chase your dreams and fall flat on your face trying, can we all have a bloody good laugh at you too?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Pascal

        Quantity doesn't make quality.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cynic alert..

      Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Cry and the world laughs at you"

      I have some sympathy with the lady concerned. I went for a job interview yesterday, for which I am eminently qualified. I have the evidence to support all of the skills and results that I highlighted. I made a point of confirming that I am available at quite short notice and prepared to relocate at my own expense.

      Whilst driving home, I received a call; they won't be taking me on. Their view was that I lived "too far away". Considering that they knew where I live before I went for the interview this seems a bit odd; and I would suggest that the real reason was that the resumé doesn't have my age, and they only realised that once I was sat in front of them.

      It's crazy but people really do seem to believe that a person's skills are inversely proportional to the number of years experience. One day cornz 1, you will also find yourself in the same situation; you may not think that now, but trust me, it will happen. What will you do then?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Why did you list where you live?

        Then they would have to come up with a better bogus reason not to hire you.

        At least in the US it is illegal to ask where an applicant lives. Why does that matter in determining if you can perform the job - but could be used to determine if you live in the "wrong" part of the town.

        They can ask if you can be on site within x minutes of notices or 24x7 - if the job requires it.

        Time to sue.

        1. LateNightLarry
          Coat

          Why did you list where you live?

          @AC 16:26... It is NOT illegal for a prospective employer to ask your address. Before the days of cell phones and email, there were only two ways a prospective employer could contact you... by mail (requires your address, although you could use a P. O. Box or a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency), or by landline, which had an area code and prefix which would, in general terms, identify the area of town in which you lived, unless you used an answering service,

          When I was doing hiring for a federal agency, if the application or resume (CV if you're on the other side of the pond) did not have an address, it was not even considered.

          I would fully expect anyone who lived on the "wrong side of the tracks" to use a P. O. Box or CMRA, and to have a cell phone tied to a good neighborhood.

          Coat please, the one with all the hijacked resumes in it. Hey, I've got to beat out the competition some way.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I stopped

        bleating about it and got on with the rest of my life........Try it!!!

        Retirement is only just round the corner....

    3. Laurel Kornfeld

      Mid-life? Please. This is a young woman. As an actress myself, I applaud her in fighting injustice and doing whatever it takes to get the career she deserves.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Complaining because her "real" age was revealed ?

    How old was she passing herself for, 25 ?

    To think that we're in the 3rd millennium and all that, and we still get women who can't stand their age being revealed.

    I thought that kind of behavior was for my grandmother.

    1. CaptainHook

      How old was she passing herself for, 25 ?

      Actually, Yes.

      In reports I read in other places, she used to play a lot of 20s and 30s characters and to be fair her photos don't make her look 40.

      I bet now the age is listed, the agents don't even look at her profile (or at least weren't, as mentioned above I bet her phone is ringing off the hook now) because it'll be filtered at the search box.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        15 films in the last three years - isn't that supposed to set some sort of level of performance ? Shouldn't agents be more interested in that than in a simple number ?

        She has obviously proven herself to be reliable, that should count for something.

      2. Laurel Kornfeld

        I do the same thing

        And so do many other actors. All that matters is how you look. I'm going to exploit the cute look as long as I live. Retirement--never??? Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck!

        1. Evil Auditor Silver badge
          Joke

          @Laurel

          It's part of the job and there's nothing wrong with concealing age. But, since we are among ourselves, how old are you?

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      If the photos on other news sites are recent ones, she could easily pass for 25.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      I was hoping for roles as a hot asian chick before IMDB unfairly - although totally accurately - identified me as a 40year old Yorkshireman.

  4. Alan B

    Is it really her age that stops her getting work?

    If the photo on IMDB is a recent one, I doubt her age would have anything to do with her not getting work, as she looks young enough to act the part of someone many years younger. Maybe her acting talent isn't quite as good as she thinks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Talent vs Age

      Acting talent has little to do with getting decent work. I'm not saying this to be facetious, but nearly every drama school graduate (of which there are tens of thousands every year) is well within the skill range needed to deliver 99% of dialogue in any tv / film / play.

      If she doesn't have connections in the industry, then she'll need star power to get cast in anything decent. And age has an enormous amount to do with it. Acting is probably the most 'agist' profession there is. (if you call it a profession).

      1. Tom 13
        Paris Hilton

        Shouldn't that be the

        [b]second[/b] most agist (sic) profession?

    2. dssf

      Maybe a combination...

      Her chronological age, and her bad comic jokes "My brother is so gay that he...", and something possibly unlisted but which she-hopes-won't-be remembered in cliquish Hollywood probably ired her.

      But, it's probably time that for some professions, there be two additional questions:

      -- Age you THINK you appear or can pass off as

      -- Age OTHERS think you appear to be

      But, maybe this is just me, i cannot STAND to watch shows in which actors over their age try to pass themselves off as younger types of characters. Usually, I can spot it in the body language and if the camera reveals too much in the face. I get turned off and will quit watchnig. To me, some acting is about looks, looking the part, being recruited for it due to versatility, and getting out of the way for new replacements who *earn* their way there, not retain it due to connections.

      Not that that is how she landed roles, but maybe she should diversify her acting portfolio or do smaller projects that gradually mature her persona on screen. Turning silver before the silver screen isn't bad. The bad part is being typecast for so long that roles are not even offered.

      Besides, it doesn't take IMDB to out her age. Agents and industry players who schmooze and booze it up can and already DO do such outing. She should probably specialize in hiring or retaining someone who writes scripts around HER and a small cast, and puts them to digital camera, and "floats" them out there on YouTube and other outlets. It would keep her active, keep her in the minds of the right people, and work better than firing a broadside via lawsuit.

      The lawsuit action i dare say probably has gotten her blacklisted by now. Lots of connections all over the place...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge
      I think that is her whole point - if casting directors looked at the photo they would hire her. But if they simply search IMDB for people under 25 they never get to see her photo.
  5. Justin 9
    IT Angle

    Watch out

    She may sue the reg yet for claiming she is a "Bit part actress".

    She is the leading actress in "The Gingerbread Man 3"

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe she should complain about the ageism in the industry rather than complain about displaying her age.

  7. Richard 116
    IT Angle

    It's criminal how this woman is treated

    Who could possibly forget her electrifying performance as 'Zombie Postwoman' in the '07 production of Z: A Zombie Musical? Or as 'Sandy' in last years Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver. A performance sure to be noticed by the Oscar nominations committee. Or whatever it's called.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And...

      Who could forget Richard 116's performance as keyboard warrior slagging of people he'll never meet from the computer in his bedroom.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge
        Mushroom

        And then again...

        For all you know, Richard 116 may be a Nobel prize winner who has appeared in major film roles and who is also intimate with the lady in question. He may not even have a computer in his bedroom. At least he doesn't post anonymously.

        I can't help noticing a lot of thespian defensiveness in this forum. A group of people who choose to earn their living with skills that are, apparently, so commonplace that every vacancy is massively over-subscribed should, perhaps, learn to roll with the punches.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "He may not even have a computer in his bedroom. At least he doesn't post anonymously."

          The computer-in-bedroom accusation was a bit of a low blow, but the comment was still entertaining. As for posting anonymously, I'm sure the debate is enriched substantially when pseudonyms are involved. Isn't that right, Mr Cant?

          Richard 116 sounds like some kind of "future Shakespeare" adaptation. Maybe Ms Hoang and the commenter could be put together in some kind of Playmobil production if it doesn't make it to the West End, Broadway or Hollywood (or Blockbuster).

      2. Steve Ives

        Indeed...

        I have an image of 'Comic Store guy' in my mind...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes..

        But at least he has the minerals to reveal whom he is...

        As you sit behind your keyboard not daring to reveal yourself....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @cornz 1

          The thing is that I currently suspect that you're Richard's 2nd ID, maybe I'm Richard double bluffing, who knows.

          1. Richard 116
            IT Angle

            It's true...

            All the above characters are played by me. Anonymous Coward (all three of them), Mr Cant, The Comic Store Guy, Cornz 1, the 115 other Richards. Unfortunately since turning 40 the work has just dried up. It was all I could do to get this gig. Now I just sit in my bedroom, stroking my Nobel prize, slaging off actresses.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "the 115 other Richards"

              I was at least hoping for Kenneth Branagh as one of the other Richards.

    2. L1feless

      Actually...

      She might not even have a case...2006 & 2007 were her busiest years from what I can tell. In 2008-2010 it did slow down for her but certainly wasn't horrible. She has clearly picked back up in 2011. So if her case is that she has fewer roles just simply based on her age being posted I think will be an uphill battle in court. Considering she has never really been a top tier choice for TV or film it is reasonable assumption that when money is tighter (like it is now) someone in her position would receive fewer roles.

      I will give her credit for trying to find a way to boost her career though,

  8. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

    Perhaps she did have a reasonable expectation that data she provided to Amazon for the purpose of validating her account should not be published online.

    If Amazon did this with my account, I think I'd be a little hacked off as well.

    1. Ian Yates

      Agreed

      But hopefully she has some evidence that this is what has happened and isn't spuriously throwing claims around.

      Seeing as she is a registered actress, is it not also possible IMDb got the information from more public records? (I don't know)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I would be hacked off as well. I wonder why she gave her actual age on a web sign-up form if she thought that it was a sensitive bit of information. Normally all that is looked at in the age block is that the person signing up claims to be at least 13 years old.

  9. P Saunders

    She should sue her parents

    For scheduling her dumping upon the world for 40 years ago rather than 20 years ago.

  10. Efros

    Trivia quote is priceless

    "Her scene in "Big Momma's House 2" and "Tropic Thunder" was deleted."

    Grammar as per IMDB.

    1. Gwaptiva

      Maybe it was the same scene?

      or -- due to lack of acting talent -- the two scenes were indistinguisable?

    2. Minophis
      Happy

      The real tragedy is not that they deleted her scenes but that didn't delete all the other scenes as well.

  11. FredScummer

    IMDB

    Maybe I'm wrong but I wouldn't have thought that the movie business would use IMDB or Amazon as its first port of call when looking for an actress. It seems much more likely to me that word of mouth would have more effect, as in Directors who have used actresses or where other actors/actresses have made a suggestion.

    Using IMDB/Amazon to find someone to play a part in a film sounds a bit like the LibDems referring to the good sense guide when choosing a policy.

    1. Captain TickTock
      Joke

      Well...

      if the Vatican uses Wikipedia...

      1. admiraljkb
        Coffee/keyboard

        Well (you mean that thing hole in the ground with water?)

        "if the Vatican uses Wikipedia..."

        hehehe Yeah, still chuckling on that one myself...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not a first port of call but...

      Since the invention of the IMDB star meter, it is one of the most used indexes when producers are researching supporting cast members. (This does not include mainstream actors who are already household names ofcourse).

      The IMDB is treated as an approximately reliable impartial reference that doesn't have the inherent bias that peoples agents, resumes, cvs and websites have. When you have a list of 20 applicants from the casting director the IMDB can be a good tool to narrow them down into 'recall' and 'bin' piles.

      Or, if you are the casting director, the IMDB can be a good tool to narrow down a list of 100 applicants into a list of 'cast' and 'dont call us...' piles.

      Everything on the IMDB has a big impact, age not the least.

      1. Laurel Kornfeld

        IMDB is a racket

        Many films are never listed on IMDB at all. To list anything, an actor or director has to pay for IMDBPro. That means directors of low budget movies are less likely to bother because they are already struggling financially. The whole thing is just a money-making racket.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Laurel

          "Many films are never listed on IMDB at all".

          Yes, I have worked on several big budget Bollywood films that are never listed. The IMDB is skewed enormously in favor of US film and TV. There are many multi million dollar foreign productions that are routinely ignored, even though these films may have worldwide audiences in the millions.

          "To list anything, an actor or director has to pay for IMDBPro".

          Only one person has to be registered to list the entire cast and crew, so it's not as bad as you make out.

          "That means directors of low budget movies are less likely to bother because they are already struggling financially."

          Yes, but we are only talking about around $100 a year. Even on a low budget movie it is unlikely to break the bank. And as stated, only one person need register to cover the whole project, and all future projects. The biggest difficulty with getting an indie film listed is the burden of proof that it is an actual project and not just a youtube project - quite hard until the film is released.

          "The whole thing is just a money-making racket."

          Unfortunately yes.

    3. JMcL

      They do have an IMDBPro site as well.

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Ru

      She tried it the other way

      Both attempts to remain anonymous failed. So not only has Amazon apparently caused all her work to magically disappear, but they're basically forcing her to out herself on the internet too. maybe she should ask for more cash if she wins.

      Fun times.

  13. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

    Junie Hoang

    Who?

    Never heard of her.

    The 40 year old actress can't get work playing 25 year old people, she should get a role on "Sex in the City" then, that would guarantee her at least another 10 years work.

    Paris, lack of talent never held her back

  14. Fuh Quit
    Pint

    She looks pretty good for 40

    I wonder if she'd fancy a 42-year-old toyboy ;-)

    1. Josco

      Wait your turn

      Back of the queue young man.

  15. Robin Szemeti
    Thumb Down

    Who's conning who?

    So she's complaining that she needs paying out because someone revealed how old she is? That rather implies she was not telling people ... which is possibly fraudulent. What woudl be more interesting is if we can find some place where she claimed to be younger and bring about a class action from all the people who bough the movie thinking they were watching a 25yrs old, and it turns out she's older than that,

    In reallity, it doesn't matter, but the craziness of someone suing for publishing a true fact ... well, it could only happen in America,

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Religion

      What about if your religion was posted wherever your CV appeared?

      Just because something is a true fact doesn't mean it should be published to the world. Like it or not, people have bias and that effects work.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Hob

        It's also not the done thing to actually include your age in a CV these days either, for exactly these reasons - people get discriminated against.

  16. david 63

    One way to make sure...

    ...everyone + dog knows your age...

    SUE!!!

  17. fishman
    FAIL

    Career chilling effect

    I would think that getting a reputation for suing a company because they released her correct age would have a greater chilling effect on her career than would her being "too old".

  18. Simon Jones [MSDL]

    Acting Age

    It is usual for Actors to provide casting directors with an "age range" they think they can portray rather than their actual age - which gives them more chance of finding appropriate work. They might at least get a casting call so the can be seen in the flesh rather than just as a name and a photograph.

  19. Simon Neill

    Shirley Henderson

    Shirley Henderson plays "Moaning Myrtle" in the Harry Potter films. For those who make their abode directly beneath a large deposit of granite in the middle of the rainforest Moaning Myrtle in the films is the ghost of a teenager and thus in most ways IS a teenager.

    Shirley Henderson is 47 in November. Seems to imply that people knowing your real age doesn't seem to make a difference.

    1. Ralph B
      Terminator

      Paedoghost

      I always find the bath scene with the 60 year old ghost (of a 14 year old girl) perving up to Harry Potter rather disturbing. Now I know she's played by a 40-ish actress I feel ... erm, not a lot better.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the point...

      You have adults playing children in animated series. That particular character may as well have been CGI'd in, since the detail level of her ghost wasn't that great. A lot of 'teen' movies have actors in their twenties (some in their thirties) playing minors. If it's not makeup, it's the shot or cgi masking the age. The only film I can think of where acting was a factor is "Peggy Sue got married' with K. Turner.

    3. Tom 13

      Special effects cover a lot of ground these days,

      and what they don't cover elective surgery might. That being said, the Potter films were of the sort where the director was more likely to look outside the normal boundaries for cast who could portray the role than your run-of-the-mill flick, which seems to be where Hoang was getting her work. Those sorts of films are exactly the ones where I WOULD expect an agent to apply an age filter from the nets in selection criteria.

  20. James Smith 3
    Stop

    Ageism?

    Well Famke Janssen was born in 1964 and she isn't exactly short of work!

  21. peter 45

    HHmmmmmmmm

    So the ONLY thing stopping you getting more work is your real age is it?

    Nothing to do with tour looks or acting ability then?

    Cry me a river

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Judging by the photos available elsewhere, looks is certainly not a problem. Though if the director was looking to cast an ugly old woman, she wouldn't get the role.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Casting an ugly old woman

        In fact, if a book has an ugly old woman in it, when Hollywood turns it into a film they'll hire a beautiful young woman for the part and apply make-up. I don't know why, but that's what they do.

        1. james4765

          There's a reason for it.

          At least on the slimier side of things, it's because of lechers / pervs. Not as common as it used to be, though.

  22. Inachu
    IT Angle

    WOW JUST WOW!

    She the ones type of asian woman I would love to marry!

    So what if she is 40. If she looks that good at 40 then she has awsome genes!

    XOXOX!

  23. Doug Glass
    Go

    Optional

    She and Demi Moore should get together and make a video. Both careers would soar.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I could imagine her having a grievance if they had published the WRONG date of birth / age (and not corrected it) - but can you really be 'sued' for telling the truth? Oh the US legal system...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    John / Jane Doe not allowed to sue anyone?

    So if that happens to be your real name you're screwed????

    Used to know a drug addict called John Smith and most of the pharmnacies wouldn't fill his methadone prescription because it was "obviously a forgery". We may have been the only pharmacy that called the prescribing clinic to check, rather than the police.

  26. Ross 7

    Nice reporting

    "According to the Associated Press, Vietnam-born Hoang, 40..."

    Classic El Reg :)

    1. TheRealRoland
      Thumb Down

      No -- classic El Reg

      would have posted a link to a story posted previously on The Register, with better background details. Rather than just rehashing a post from Reuters / AP / Fox / CNN, etc.

      The Register search is not helping; but previously the story was that IMDB / Amazon used the lady's credit card details to append her IMDB Pro account information.

      Which is of course not right.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    What is it about life in the USA that causes 'glamorous' women, from whatever racial or genetic background, to eventually all start looking the same?

    1. Local Group
      Happy

      "What is it about life in the USA

      Same as everywhere else. GRAVITY.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reality sucks

    Get a life.

  29. h 2

    To sue using a False name !

    She was quite happy to sue using a False name 'Jane Doe' there must be a law about that !

  30. Pete the not so great
    Meh

    She's paid to pretend / lie

    That's why they're called actors.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tom Cruise is 50...

    Pierce Brosnan is 58

    Brad Pitt is 48

    Proving that good-looking men in Hollywood can continue to have a career well past 40.

    Old women - not so much.

    Life's a bitch in entertainment-land. Deal with it.

  32. Brezhnev's Shadow

    Huong Hoang Viet Vet Ding-Dong!

    I say!

    (best Leslie Phillips accent ;))

  33. Andy Fletcher

    Is it just me...

    ...or are lawsuit stories getting old?

  34. Jeff 11

    Is the amount she's suing for realistic given the history of her acting career? Hmm.

    Can she provide documented evidence that the number of casting calls she's had has decreased *significantly* since then? Probably not.

    She may have some form of a case, but even if she does, I imagine it'll be settled out of court and for significantly less than a million dollar sum. It's unclear that anyone has done anything even slightly unlawful.

  35. arrbee
    Holmes

    thespian photographs

    The 'general use' photos you see of actors/actresses are rarely current - in most cases there is no downside to using the same photo for years.

  36. danny_0x98

    Of course, back when she arrived in Hollywood and hit her mid 20s, she displaced the actresses who had moved into their late 30s. That's the business. I could be struck by lightning, be imbued with thespian graces beyond measure and still not get cast as Hamlet, because I'm in my 50s.

    I would not cast aspersions, but I would ask where was her law suit and complaints when she first appeared on imdb and producers could look her up, nod approvingly and put her 8 x 10 among the dozens that would be allowed to audition and not among the hundreds who would not.

  37. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Hollywood

    It is simple. Hollywood doesn't let women get old.

    Just like lack of a degree will get you dropped by the HR filters, her age will get her dropped before anything else is looked at.

  38. 1 Million Dollars
    Megaphone

    I can understand her concern. That as a 30+ american of asian descent. There aren't going to be that many roles. Much as we'd like to think the world is post-racial and post-sexist it isnt. How many t.v and film roles have women in their post 30s. Most of the roles will just disappear to Helen Mirrian who is a bankable star. If your female and over 30, you're no longer hottie material and will invariable end up playing; a lawyer, a judge, a CSI agent, or single working mom. Its made worse if you're ethnic. Name the number of films with an asian female lead outside of some historical drama. We can all go round shouting don't blame the player, blame the game. But if you're only ever on the subs benched because of a casting agents pre-conception then all credit to her.

  39. wheel

    Some sad facts about being an actress

    I don't know if this lady has a case in law, but:

    (1) Your actual age DOES count in casting directors' assessment of you, and actresses in particular are rightly paranoid about hiding their actual ages. I know of an actress in her mid-thirties who looks like she is at most in her mid-twenties. She doesn't tell anyone her real age, not even her close friends. Why? She lost out on a part at the start of her career because she was 23, which the casting director deemed 'too old' to play 18. Needless to say, she wouldn't have been cast as a 23 year old because she looked far too young...

    (2) There are very, very few parts in TV or film for non-name actresses over 40. As a result, many people in the industry seem to regard any actress over 40 as 'past it'; there is definitely a psychological barrier at that age. It seems entirely reasonable to assume that allowing casting directors to know an actress is over 40 would be detrimental to that actress's career, especially if her playing age was considerably younger, as she would not be seen for parts which she could realistically play.

    (3) With regard to how many parts this lady has listed on IMDB each year reflecting the success of her career: films take time to make, so any credits in 2011 could reflect audition successes in 2010 or earlier; for each role she was cast in, she will have auditioned for dozens more; and if she is claiming that the revelation of her age has already damaged her career, she would know at least a year before it becomes obvious on IMDB. For instance, the number of auditions she gets called to may have drastically reduced. (Actors get called to auditions after the casting directors have seen their 'resumés', and compared them, almost inevitably, with IMDB.)

    Some people have commented that $1 million is too much, but if her career has been cut short by, say, five years, that would be $200,000 a year. Quite a lot, but not impossible if she could have got a regular part in a TV series. If she looks 25 now, as some here have opined, then she could argue that her career has been cut short by 10 years, at which point $1 million looks quite reasonable.

    If you are an actress, your real age is commercially sensitive information. As an industry resource IMDB should know this, even if some people who have commented on this story don't.

    FYI: I work in the industry, albeit mainly in theatre rather than film, and hence understand something of the dark arts of casting. The casting director's job is demanding as bad casting can destroy a film / show. Perhaps this is why they are rather conservative about playing ages; not stating their real age is the only defence an actor has. The consequence is that all actors, male and female, are likely to lie about their age at some time or another, and up to now that has worked out fine. But, for instance, if IMDB had published her age, Gillian Anderson would probably not have been cast as Dana Sculley; she was 24 at the time, but she pretended to be older so she could be considered for the part. (Obviously, Sculley was older than 24, as she had gained a medical degree and a PhD before studying at Quantico.)

    1. Synja

      @wheel

      Good points, except that the "damages" under US law would require her to have actually lost that money. The burden of proof lies on her to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she would have actually made 200k each year. That is not going to happen. Punitive damages are possible, but would be at the whim of not only a jury, but the various appeals courts that the case would invariably be sent to. Since actors/actresses are not salaried and are not considered employees (some are exceptions, she is not.) it's difficult to prove that the damages were real. Even if this affected her future earnings, there is no way for her to have ensured that she would have continued to have the same or greater earnings.

      Lawyers in the US have a comple set of algorithms and statistics that are used to give a relative value to every person in every situation, and a value of damages. It's grim and somewhat disgusting, but it's how the US system works. Now, if something happened to me (as a systems engineer with a specific salary and work history) that caused me to lose work, I could very easily sue and be awarded some damages, although not punitive unless it was negligence or malpractice.

      The other concern is the location of the trial (if any), Many areas in the US do not award punitive damages for "minor" things. It's a jury of your peers, and sometimes your peers don't like making other people rich. You'll notice that civil litigation is more active in some areas than others.

    2. Laurel Kornfeld

      Being an actress isn't "sad"

      It's actually an amazing life. First, no casting director is legally permitted to ask an actor's age. If they do, most actors give a range, and a wide one at that. Second, Junie should look into comedy and character roles. Not only are those the most fun, they also are the least constrained by age. I love doing drama but the industry sees me as comedic, and now, I'm always playing offbeat, quirky types--in other words, versions of myself. Character roles are about finding and creating a unique niche for yourself. And I don't mind running from zombies or playing zombies. Whatever role an actor plays becomes part of their repertoire, part of the story that makes him or her unique.

      Some of us also have good genes. My mother and aunt look about 15-20 years younger than they really are. I avoid the sun like the plague, and so far, it's working, no visible lines or wrinkles.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let her file i has Jane Doe and make the cheque out to the same... doh.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guess they should not post her height or sex or anything incase that goes against her - god forbid someone was looking for someone tall or male or ??

    Some might argue that NOT posting her previous movies would be a good start.

    Perhaps she just needs a better agent or new career rather than blaming Amazon / IMDB.

    1. Slabfondler
      Paris Hilton

      This has to hurt...

      "Her scene in _Big Momma's House 2 (2006)_ and Tropic Thunder (2008) was deleted." Paris "'cause *my* scenes never get deleted"
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