Lea Seydoux: Growing old is like a disease in America

The French actress played Dr Madeleine Swann in two James Bond films.

Lea Seydoux was in the last two James Bond films
Lea Seydoux was in the last two James Bond films (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Lea Seydoux has said you “cannot get older” in America and she feels lucky to be a star of the big screen in Europe.

The French actress, 38, known for playing Dr Madeleine Swann in the James Bond films starring Daniel Craig, said she sees the US film industry as more of a “business” where “everything has to be heightened”, unlike in Europe.

“Maybe because it’s a young country?” she said in the Sunday Times culture magazine. “So people want to stay young forever? It’s a society that is infantilising and you cannot get older in America.

“It’s almost like a disease there, getting older. It’s the same for men.

“It’s part of their culture. In America you are always infantilised. From the adverts you see in the streets to the writing they put on their cereal packets.

“I feel lucky to be a European actress.”

She has previously been outspoken against sexual harassment in Hollywood.

Lea Seydoux at the Cannes Film Festival in May
Lea Seydoux at the Cannes Film Festival in May (Doug Peters/PA)

“There was cinema before the #MeToo movement, and after,” Seydoux said.

“And it is crazy? I have experienced both. Certain things were accepted that now seem surreal.”

Seydoux was in 2015’s Spectre and 2021’s No Time To Die as the capable Dr Madeleine and did not play a traditional Bond girl.

She said: “It would’ve been weird to do Bond nowadays with a guy who is super-misogynistic.

“It has to reflect the society we’re living in.”

She also gave her reaction to French President Emmanuel Macron saying Gerard Depardieu “makes France proud”, amid sexual misconduct allegations against the veteran actor.

Seydoux said it gives a “very bad image of our country” but she added the “young generation is very active” in calling out these issues.

Seydoux is also known for French romantic film Blue Is The Warmest Colour, comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel, time travel movie Midnight In Paris and she was recently in science fiction epic Dune: Part Two.