Jessica Lange is reportedly mulling retirement. The 74-year-old actress is one of the few actors to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting, winning two Oscars, three Emmys, and a Tony.
“I think I’m going to start phasing out of filmmaking,” says Lange to The Telegraph. “I don’t think I’ll do this too much longer. Creativity is secondary now to corporate profits. The emphasis becomes not on the art or the artist or the storytelling. It becomes about satisfying your stockholders. It diminishes the artist and the art of filmmaking.” Lange laments the disappearance of “wonderful films by really great filmmakers, wonderful stories, great characters. That’s rare, isn’t it now?”
Jessica Lange Enjoyed a Late-Career Comeback Playing Various Characters on American Horror Story and other Ryan Murphy Productions
Jessica Lange made her film debut in 1976's King Kong. She has appeared in 33 theatrical movies, including Tootsie, Frances, Country, Sweet Dreams, Blue Sky, Cape Fear, and Titus. In the 2010s, Lange captured the attention of a new generation by playing several unforgettable characters on American Horror Story (pictured), winning two Emmys out of four nominations. AHS creator Ryan Murphy found his muse in Lange, and she delivered memorable performances on his shows such as playing Joan Crawford in Feud: Bette and Joan and Dusty Jackson on The Politician.
Lange tells The Telegraph that she has “no desire to see 90 percent” of movies in theaters today. “I’m not interested in these big comic-book franchise films,” says Lange. “I think that they’ve sacrificed this art that we’ve been involved in… for the sake of profit.” She also despises the frantic editing and quick cuts commonplace in today's blockbuster films. “I don’t know if it’s because the filmmakers think that they can’t hold the attention of the audience anymore,” she says. “That kind of filmmaking drives me crazy.”
Although Lange seems as discouraged as Martin Scorsese by the current cinematic landscape, that doesn't mean that audiences have seen the last of Lange just yet. She will reprise her stage role as Mary Tyrone in the film adaptation of Long Day's Journey into Night opposite Ed Harris. Lange also stars in an upcoming Ryan Murphy biopic about Marlene Dietrich for Netflix, about the iconic actor-singer's late career in Las Vegas. On Broadway, Lange will play the lead role in Paula Vogel's Mother Play in 2024.
In her interview with The Telegraph, Lange brushes off the suggestion that her impending retirement will be a great loss for the film world. “I’m sure they won’t miss me at all,” she says.