Nicole Scherzinger Opens Up About Ageism in Hollywood: 'It's Still Very Brutal' |

Nicole Scherzinger Opens Up About Ageism in Hollywood: ‘It’s Still Very Brutal’

Nicole Scherzinger is opening up about what it’s like aging in Hollywood.

via People:

In a new interview with the Sunday Times, the former Pussycat Dolls star, 45, said getting older in the entertainment industry is challenging.

“It’s just as relevant today. And it’s still very brutal,” she told the newspaper of the pervasive ageism, noting that even maintaining a youthful appearance is not enough.

“Even if I look like I’m 37 or something, the moment somebody knows your age they will just —” she added, drawing a hand across her throat.

Scherzinger said her latest role — she’s currently starring as Norma Desmond in the West End revival of Sunset Boulevard in London — has given her deeper insight into women’s aging struggles. Her character is a 50-year-old former silent-film starlet who cannot accept that her fame has faded.

Scherzinger admitted she was initially offended when director Jamie Lloyd offered her the part in the musical, which is based on the classic 1950 film of the same name, starring Gloria Swanson as Norma.

“I was like, ‘Are you out of your mind? First of all, I still look great under bright lights. And isn’t that an older woman who is, like, an old relic? How does that even remotely have anything to do with me?'” she told the Sunday Times.

However, once she delved into the role, she quickly empathized with Norma’s yearning for her lost youth. “It’s relevant to parallels in my life,” she noted.

Scherzinger also understands her character’s fear of no longer measuring up to Hollywood’s impossible beauty standards. When she was performing with the Pussycat Dolls, she would spend up to five hours a day working out at the gym, and grappled with bulimia for years. The music group’s manager told her she needed to lose weight.

“But I didn’t need anyone to tell me. I’m my hardest critic of myself, so I was the worst voice, right?” she recalled.

These days, she is more at peace with herself and celebrates the body-positivity movement led by stars such as Ashley Graham and Lizzo. She said she can happily allow her body to “hibernate” when she is not working, and be perfectly okay with her weight fluctuating by “10 to 15 pounds.”

Last month, Scherzinger told PEOPLE she is excited to reveal a new side of herself in Sunset Boulevard, especially since she feels she has been underestimated since her pop-star days.

“That’s why I’m making moves now. It’s hard when people don’t see you for who you truly are. But if you don’t show it to them, they will never know; so that’s why I’ve taken this [role],” she explained. “Hopefully people will get the opportunity now to see who I really am and what I have to give.”

Despite her initial misgivings about playing Norma, she said she discovered a deep connection to the character.

“I just fell in love with Norma,” she noted. “I didn’t realize that this is the role that I’ve been waiting to play all my life.”

“There are so many parallels between Sunset Boulevard and what you have to do to make it in Hollywood,” she added. “Even when you’re fully loaded with so much talent, you could still be overlooked because of stereotypes and ageism. It is a tragedy.”

She didn’t lie!

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