Gothamist posted an interview with Janeane Garofalo yesterday. I was struck by Garofalo’s answer to a question about her acting career slipping away after the 90s.
Oh yeah, of course. It ended around 2000. I had a lot of work in the ’90s. And then for females especially, as you get older — I’m 44 — it’s really difficult for a 44-year-old woman to get acting work. That’s just the nature of the beast. And because it’s an elective profession, it’s hard to complain about it because nobody makes you do it. Also I did a lot of mediocre stuff towards the end of the ’90s and then sort of the novelty wore off. And then I left acting to work at Air America for two-and-a-half years.
When I decided to go back into acting, it wasn’t very easy. “I took two-and-a-half years off, but I’d like to work again. Please hire me.” It sort of doesn’t work like that. So I’m just sort of grateful anytime someone wants to hire me. And TV seems to be one of the only places where older women can seek employment. Unless you sort of get lucky. There’s a saying: “you’re always just one part away from being back at work in film” for women especially. So I’m just waiting for someone to give me the green light, “Oh, let’s hire Janeane again!” I think I’m on the “has been” list until I’m not. It’s like a game of Red Rover and somebody says “come over.” Or you can create your own work, but I’m not really a screenwriter. I don’t really feel like I have the story to tell. It would just be creating content for the sake of creating content.
An interviewer wouldn’t dare ask that question of some other actors and if they did, may have received a defensive or angry answer. Garofalo answered it honestly, which is why we like her so much.