Jessica Lange. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Jessica Lange has blasted "ageism" in the entertainment industry and insists there is no "level playing field" for men and women.

The 68-year-old actress - who made her movie debut in 1976's 'King Kong' - thinks it is shocking there are few older women landing "romantic leads" but male stars of her age will land similar parts opposite much younger co-stars.

She fumed: "Ageism is pervasive in this industry. It's not a level playing field.

"You don't often see women in their 60s playing romantic leads, yet you will see men in their 60s playing romantic leads with costars who are decades younger." 

In 1982, Jessica won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 'Tootsie' and she was very proud of her achievement, but admits awards ceremonies have changed dramatically over the years.

Speaking to AARP The Magazine's August/September issue, she said: "'Tootsie' turned out to be the best film I ever made. And to win my first Oscar for it was thrilling, not terrifying, the way it might be today. 

"The awards were more casual then. You did your own hair, you did your own make-up. It wasn't the fashion event of the season."

Though Jessica - who has three grown-up children from past relationships - announced in 2013 she was considering retiring, she still can't pull herself away from her career as she's still looking to be "challenged".

She explained: "It's the desire to do something brave, to be challenged." 

The 'Feud' star admits being a parent made her a "different person" and as well as loving being a mother, she is having "even more fun" now she also has grandchildren to dote on.

She said of motherhood: "You are no longer the centre of the universe. It opened my heart, made me a different person. Every move you make is with someone else in mind. 

"I loved being a mother more than anything else in the world, and being a grandmother is even more fun. There's the chance to do it again. 

"It's in the perfect order of nature: You raise your children, and then the next generation comes along. They are the redemptive force in nature. Plus, it's easier!"