Jessica Lange talks ageism in media and her new projects

The actress and photographer discusses her photo book “Highway 61” and her role in “The Politician.”
7:00 | 10/04/19

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Transcript for Jessica Lange talks ageism in media and her new projects
Emmy, golden globes, oscars and you started in 1976. I did. And you're still cooking. Well, yeah. You are. I'm on the dessert course so -- A lot of times we talk on this show about the industry and how it's filled with sexism and harassment and -- Ageism. And everything else and do you think things have changed at all in the years you've been in the business. I suppose in certain areas but there are others -- I mean I think ageism exists. It's just -- you know, that's just nature. I mean, the parts thin out. Not for the men, though. Yeah, it's a little different for the boys. It is, yeah, yeah. The irishman, scorsese, has all these old guys in it and it's a big hit. And in the movie they all look younger too which is really -- go back to what they look like when they were 30 so that's nice. For them. But, no, I think ageism is a problem. It just is. The parts thin out. There aren't that many roles written and, you know, when there is something that comes along oftentimes it's, you know, it used to be somebody's mother. Now it's somebody's grandmother. So it's -- but, yes, I think things have gotten better just because the consciousness has been raised about these issues. There's nothing you can do about ageism. You can do something about sexism. You can do something -- but, you know, ageism, that's just nature. You make it look very good. And you have two young granddaughters. I do. What advice do you give them? What stories do you tell them about your life that might be able to help them? I don't tell them all my stories. But, yeah, I mean we talk about, you know, I mean, they understand, you know, I mean -- for me what was important in my life was the Independence and the sense of adventure and saying yes more than I ever said no, and -- Is that a good thing. Yeah, I think it is a good thing, instead of why be timid about life, might as well just go for it and I mean so I think they understand that and, you know, I see them doing the same thing. One granddaughter is in the circus. Circus performer and the -- What kind of circus? Children's circus but they go on tour and she's very powerful and independent and my other granddaughter is equally independent and brilliant and so -- but they -- that didn't necessarily -- I mean it came from parents and it came from, you know, growing up in this time and -- yeah. Well, I believe we're in the golden age of television and you and Ryan Murphy are putting out the most premiere content of all time. I could go on and on. I love everything you guys have been doing. But you also have this beautiful new book of photographs called "Highway 61." And it's about going -- I understand you enjoy going on road trips and what initially drew you to this project of taking photos across the Well, because I grew up in non-minnesota so highway 61 was, you know, the highway of my childhood before the interstates were built or whatever and it was as I say in the afterword, it was, you know, the highway along that stretch of highway and all those little towns, I was born, my sister, my mother and father, my grandparents, you know, they raised their families, they lived. They died. So it's -- it's -- it's something that's I'm very connected to. It was the road we used to drive to go visit relatives to go to the county fair, to see, you know, the parades -- Are people like, oh, my gosh, it's Jessica Lange? I would think they would. Not in a lot of those towns I end up in, no and I mean part of the way I shoot is to not be observed but then again sometimes I will actually at a certain point engage, you know, somebody that I'm interested and it's usually an emotional reaction to a place, to a landscape, to a person, to something so -- The book is beautiful. Thank you. All the pictures are beautiful too and one of the pictures that really strike me is on page 23 of this little girl and her face is just -- I loved it. Can you tell us a little of the back story of this little girl? Well, that's one of those cases where like I had, you know, seen her and there was something about her that touched me. The way she -- her face, her hair, her dress and it was at a county fair, of course. In northern Minnesota and so I kind of tracked her for awhile without knowing that she was aware, I mean, it wasn't like I was stalking her or anything. It wasn't like spooky time. But finally as I was taking her picture she turned and looked at me with that -- I see you. So good. A wonderful expression. It was like they're so honest at that age. Oh, good. Well, what is also so good is "The politician." I'm so addicted to it. I'm so addicted to it. You know, I love everything that you're in and you play these sort of unhinged women. I am a little unhinged myself, my husband would say but had Ben Platt on as well yesterday talking about all the characters and I love your character, dusty Jackson. I -- You do? I do. I do too. We have a clip. You've got to take a look at this. Well, if infinity really goes out there and gets out the vote and, you know, you win the election, what do we get out of it? Hmm. She really loves boats. Oh. Specifically those Disney themed cruises, right? Yeah, they're accessible. It's so much fun. Hey, what the hell is wrong with you? You don't reach over someone's plate. You ask it to be passed. You know, you're always very compelling to watch. Oh, well -- You're never boring. That show is amazing. I don't watch stuff like that and I am binge-watching it. Oh, good "The politician" is escaism from the real politicians so I highly recommend -- It's a micro come of what's really going on, right, isn't it? It's like all the -- yeah, it's monstrous. Just like the times we're living in so, yes.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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