Last Vegas features the biggest movie stars of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, but how old were they in the movie compared to their characters?
- Last Vegas showcases the first-time onscreen collaboration of four legendary actors: Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline.
- The characters’ ages in the film align closely with the real-life ages of the actors, highlighting their authentic performances and adding depth to the plot.
- The humor in the film mainly stems from the characters’ ages, highlighting the contrast between their carefree pasts and the responsibilities of their twilight years.
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With Last Vegas featuring four celebrated and seasoned movie stars playing elderly protagonists, it’s worth taking a look at how the actors’ ages compare to their characters. The comedy brings together multiple Hollywood legends as it follows four childhood friends: Billy (Michael Douglas), Paddy (Robert De Niro), Archie (Morgan Freeman), and Sam (Kevin Kline). In their twilight years in the timeframe of the film, the group of men head to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. The big appeal of Last Vegas is undoubtedly the cast of seasoned and illustrious movie stars, each with their own unique and accolade-heavy careers.
Last Vegas delivers on its promise of a buddy comedy with a wild adventure, reminiscent of The Hangover but with a significantly older friend group. However, what makes the 2013 film most exciting is the first-time onscreen collaboration of these four actors. While the comedy might not be anything revelatory, witnessing Douglas, De Niro, Freeman, and Kline sharing the screen is something of a cinematic event. Last Vegas capitalized on the charm of its cast as they navigate Vegas, even though it’s totally out of their element. Unsurprisingly, most of the humor stems from the characters’ ages. Here’s how they match up with the rea-life ages of the actors involved.
Michael Douglas (68) As Billy Gerson (Late 60s)
Michael Douglas was 68 years old when he stepped into the role of Billy Gerson. Douglas’ breakthrough role was in the 1979 movie The China Syndrome, and he went on to become famous for playing suave, charismatic, and sometimes overly intense characters, most notably Gordon Gekko in Wall Street. The actor is also best known for his inclination towards erotic thrillers, including Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction, which established Douglas as a master of the genre. Douglas often portrays skillfully complex and morally ambiguous characters, and his signature style is his confident demeanor that quickly transitions into vulnerability when the situation demands it.
Billy is about to tie the knot in Last Vegas, but it isn’t totally clear how old Bill Gerson is, as it isn’t ever explicitly stated. Nevertheless, the character’s age, which is likely in the late 60s, is extremely relevant, as it serves as the catalyst for the plot and highlights the contrast between his carefree past and the impending responsibilities of marriage. The movie sees Billy marrying a 31-year-old woman. The massive gap isn’t too different from Douglas’ real life. Douglas is married to Catherine Zeta-Jones, who was just 43 when Last Vegas was in production.
Robert De Niro (70) As Paddy Connors (Early 70s)
Robert De Niro was 70 years old when he played Paddy in Last Vegas. The actor had his breakthrough in 1973 with the Martin Scorsese-directed classic, Mean Streets. Following that, it didn’t take long for De Niro to become a household name in Hollywood, as he won his first of two Academy Awards for his performance as Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II. De Niro then became the go-to actor for gangster movies, starring in films such as Goodfellas, Casino, Heat, The Irishman, and many others. The actor became more open to comedies in the 1990s and 2000s, starring in Analyze This, Meet the Fockers, and Dirty Grandpa.
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In the movie, Paddy Connors is depicted as the oldest among the group, though his exact age is never revealed. Paddy’s character arc centers around the loss of his wife and getting over the grieving process, which includes rating girls out of 10 on stage at a pool party. However, Paddy’s age is significant because it underscores the theme of life’s fleeting moments and how important it is to seize the present. Like De Niro in real life, Paddy is the most authoritative and fastidious of the group, confirming that there’s a little bit of the actors’ true personalities in their characters.
Morgan Freeman (76) As Archie Clayton (70)
Morgan Freeman was 76 years old when he was working on Last Vegas. Freeman was the oldest actor in the group by six years, and ironically, the actor didn’t have his breakthrough until later in his career. The actor’s first major part was in 1987’s Street Smart, but audiences didn’t truly start paying attention to him until he joined the The Shawshank Redemption cast. The actor is best known for his baritone and authoritative-sounding voice, which has resulted in countless narrations and voice-over work for Freeman. The actor went on to win an Academy Award for his role in Million Dollar Baby.
Archie Clayton’s age isn’t revealed in Last Vegas, but it’s hinted that he’s around 70 years old. That means that Freeman is the only actor in the movie who has actually been aged down. Archie’s age is perhaps the most important of any of the characters, as the character’s arc is about how age shouldn’t be a restrictive number. Archie wants to break free of his overprotective family who try to keep him from achieving his ambitions. Ironically, Archie is the most excited of all the characters for the Vegas trip. Based on the similar themes, the Freeman-starring Bucket List would make a great double feature with Last Vegas.
Kevin Kline (65) As Sam Harris (Mid-60s)
Kevin Kline was 65 when he filmed Last Vegas in the early 2010s. Kline’s breakthrough role was in the 1983 comedy The Big Chill, which showcased the actor’s unrivaled charm and comedic timing. While his costars are mostly known for their dramatic roles, Kline stuck strictly to comedy, starring in cult classics, including A Fish Called Wanda and Dave, but he can still deliver some powerful and emotionally charged scenes too. Kline’s acting style combines wit and intelligence, which allows him to make audiences actually believe he could impersonate the President of the United States in Dave.
Sam Harris’ age is never mentioned in Last Vegas, and even though he’s a retiree, Sam likely retired early, as the character still has a spring in his step, a zest for life, and comes with the message that retirement doesn’t mean the end of excitement. Ultimately, none of the characters’ ages are drastically different from the actors playing them (outside of Freeman’s character). That’s because a lot of the characters’ traits are clearly loosely based on the actors’ real personalities and the types of characters they’ve played in the past. As a result, it’s hard to imagine any other actor playing any of the Last Vegas quartet.