Kate Beckinsale Suggests That the Fascination With Her Dating Pete Davidson Is Sexist

“It’s a little old-fashioned to [scrutinize] a woman’s personal life.”

AOL Build Speaker Series - Whit Stillman and Kate Beckinsale, "Love & Friendship"
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Try as she might, it’s so far proven impossible for Kate Beckinsale to go about her normal life without mention of the fact that she’s currently dating a 25-year-old, i.e. the Saturday Night Live star (and former fiancé of Ariana Grande) Pete Davidson. Predictably enough, then, the topic of her dating life managed to worm its way into her new interview with the Los Angeles Times, which was apparently supposed to focus on her lead role in the Amazon series The Widow instead.

Beckinsale, who has previously dated the actor Michael Sheen and the director Len Wiseman, said she’s been “surprised by the interest” in her dating life of late. “I’ve never been in this position before—never dated anybody who comes with their own bag of mischief,” she said, apparently euphemistically referring to Davidson’s widely publicized engagement to, and falling out with, Ariana Grande. (Davidson reportedly began dating Beckinsale around the start of 2019, about three months after he and Grande called off their engagement.)

“It’s all quite shocking, and something to get used to. I think if you liked the person less, you would bow out of it. If that were the main thrust of the relationship, there would be a problem. But it’s not,” Beckinsale continued, seeming to suggest that the pair isn’t going to break up anytime soon. Other than having to put up with “people hiding outside [her] house,” the public’s fascination with her dating life, Beckinsale said, hasn’t had an impact on their relationship.

Beckinsale did not address the main reason behind that fascination—the fact that she’s 20 years Davidson’s senior—though the latter already took care of that quite effectively earlier this month.

“Apparently, people have a crazy fascination with our age difference. It doesn’t really bother us,” Davidson told Colin Jost during an appearance on SNL, before rattling a list of names proving that their age difference is far from unprecedented. “Then again, I’m new to this, so if you have questions about relationships with a big age difference,” he continued, urging viewers to instead consult, among many others, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jason Statham, Michael Douglas, Richard Gere, Derek Jeter, Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, Mick Jagger, Larry King, and, of course, Donald Trump.

In case you didn’t notice, those names all belong to men—a detail that Beckinsale, too, knows is no small accident. “It’s a little old-fashioned to have a woman’s personal life [looked at like that],” she told the Times. “It’s a little bit tired.” No wonder, then, that she recently wiped her Instagram clean, effectively erasing all of the comments along the lines of “You like them young!” that the comedian David Spade had left the day before.

Beckinsale’s interview with the Times took place a week beforehand, but it does provide a bit of insight into what might be her reasoning behind that decision. So far, Beckinsale has had a “largely positive experience” on social media, which she also described as “a lot of fun.” (She “had a flip phone until embarrassingly recently,” and only gave social media a go at the behest of the filmmakers behind Love & Friendship.) But “if it became oppressive or upsetting,” she continued, “I would be very happy to let go of it.”

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