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Gabrielle Union said people side-eyed her marriage to Dwyane Wade at age 41


Gabrielle Union connected with “The Idea of You” — and its story of being an older woman in the spotlight — on a personal level.

In “The Idea of You,” based on the novel of the same name by Union’s longtime friend Robinne Lee, 40-year-old single mom Solène Marchand (Anne Hathaway) embarks on a passionate relationship with Hayes Campbell (Nicholas Galitzine), a 24-year-old singer in a wildly popular boyband, after a meet-cute at Coachella.

On the red carpet at the movie’s SXSW Film & TV Festival premiere in Austin earlier this month, Business Insider asked Union, who executive produced the film, why it was important to tell the story of an older woman in her 40s conquering life and doing things her own way.

“I mean, I live it. I married my husband when I was almost 41. And everyone was like, oh,” Union told BI. “People start to police what your dreams should be. What you should even want at your age, at your ‘big age.'”

Gabrielle Union said people side eyed her marriage to Dwayne Wade at 41

For Union, it was important “to see the joy of women of all ages.”

“Not just 25 year olds,” she quipped.

Union, now 51, married former NBA player Dwyane Wade, who’s nine years younger than her, in 2014. It was the second marriage for both, and the two share a daughter, Kaavia, born in 2018 via surrogate.


Gabrielle Union first optioned “The Idea of You” back in 2018, having named it as one of her favorite books in an interview with Vulture earlier that year. It’s been a long road getting the book adapted, but Union isn’t surprised that, between this movie and Sydney Sweeney’s “Anyone But You,” the genre is having a resurgence. (For the record, her favorite at-home date-night movie to watch with Wade is “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”)

“We are desperate for levity. We’re desperate for hope, we’re desperate to believe that love exists and that it can exist for anybody,” she told BI on the red carpet, adding that “The Idea of You” is “that kinda movie where you wanna leave and hug somebody.”


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