Age is Just a Number

I know in the recent year you all have been following the trend of #WomeninFilm. A few of our team members here at Trove use it quite often and it’s no doubt been seen across the industry worldwide. Women have been making their place know in the film industry, no longer willing to be overlooked and paving the way for young female filmmakers.

 Such as Marsai Martin. In case you haven’t read, heard, paid attention, live under a rock or don’t know, Marsai Martin recently became the youngest female Executive Producer of the feature film Little, at just 14 years old. The young actress was already known for her role as Dianne Johnson on the TV Show Blackish and now she’s also starring in this film.

 That’s right -14. What were you doing at 14? I for one was just learning how to use an iPod touch. Remember those?

 Marsai was inspired by the Film BIG starring Tom Hanks in 1988. She then thought of the idea for Little, in which a powerful Tech Company executive wakes up to find she’s had a spell cast on her, that returns her to a 13- year old version of herself. Marsai later pitched the plot of Little the Producer of Blackish, Kenya Barris. From there the film was picked up by Universal Pictures and the writer of ATL, Tina Gordon, was chosen to write the script. Cast alongside Marsai is Regina Hall, known for her roles in the Scary Movie series, The Hate You Give, and recently awarded the New York Critics Circle Award for Best Actress for her role in Supporting the Girls. Here you have a film starring two black actresses, and is written, directed and produced by black women. This film also brings attention to another Hollywood issue: Ageism.

It’s no secret that in Hollywood, once an actress passes the age of 30, the range of roles offered to them starts to shrink. In recent years, actresses like Julianne Moore, Taraji P. Henson, and Viola Davis have challenged those in the industry to create and write roles that can be played by older, more diverse actresses.  The creators of Little have managed to do that, by casting a 14-year-old and a 48-year-old actress, the film displays a contrast in age but no contrast in power or personality. Showing that there are still powerful, diverse, and realistic roles to be played by older actresses in Hollywood and that there are still relevant stories to be told by them as well.

 In an industry where borders are now being challenged, Marsai certainly is no exception. You can argue that she already had a foot in the door being a well -known actress, but you can’t argue that what she has accomplished at her age is unheard of and we’re sure this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing from Marsai.