Nicole Scherzinger on Hollywood Ageism: 'Still Very Brutal'

Nicole delves into Hollywood's unspoken age-related challenges

by Nouman Rasool
Nicole Scherzinger on Hollywood Ageism: 'Still Very Brutal'
© Victor Boyko/GettyImages

Nicole Scherzinger, former lead of the Pussycat Dolls, is pulling back the curtain on the daunting experience of aging in Hollywood. In a revealing interview with the Sunday Times, the 45-year-old songstress expressed her personal and professional experiences with ageism in the industry.

She remarked, “The situation hasn't changed much; it remains relentless”. Even with her striking youthful appearance, Scherzinger shared that knowing one's age can be enough to cut opportunities short. "They’ll sideline you the minute they know how old you are,” she commented.

Scherzinger's Insightful Role Revelation

Her portrayal of Norma Desmond in the West End revival of 'Sunset Boulevard' in London has enlightened her further on the challenges women face regarding age. This character, a once-renowned silent-film actress aged 50, grapples with the painful realization that her stardom is waning.

Initially, Scherzinger was taken aback when offered the role by director Jamie Lloyd. She recalled, "It felt out of place. Despite my age, I felt vibrant. How could Norma's story resonate with me?" However, diving deeper into the character, she found a kinship with Norma's melancholy over bygone youth and fame.

“There are strong parallels with my journey,” Scherzinger admitted. Reflecting on her time with the Pussycat Dolls, Scherzinger remembered the immense pressure she faced to uphold unrealistic beauty standards. She would dedicate hours to her fitness regimen daily, and she battled bulimia.

The pressure to shed weight was even imposed by the group's management. “The harshest voice, however, was my own," she lamented. Today, Scherzinger champions the body positivity wave fronted by celebrities like Ashley Graham and Lizzo.

She believes in embracing one’s body, even if that means a weight fluctuation. Last month, she revealed to PEOPLE her aspirations to showcase her versatility and depth through roles like Norma Desmond. "It's pivotal for people to see my true essence and my capabilities,” she emphasized.

Despite her initial reservations about embodying Norma, Scherzinger found an intimate bond with the character. "Norma's story resonated deeply with me. I've realized that this is the role I've been yearning for,” she expressed.

She concluded, "The narrative of 'Sunset Boulevard' mirrors the real struggles in Hollywood. Regardless of immense talent, ageism and stereotypes can overshadow one's worth. It's truly heartbreaking."