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‘An Older Gal with a Younger Fella’: Gabrielle Union Claps Back at Critics for Questioning Her and Dwyane Wade’s Age Difference 

Gabrielle Union is promoting her new film, a romcom about a spring/winter romance, that the star believes echoes her own life, similar to her past role in “The Perfect Find.

She joined “The Idea of You” as an actress and producer in the film that centers around a woman in her 40s, played by Anne Hathaway, who grapples with feeling overlooked due to her age.

However, everything changes in her mind when a young, charismatic musician in his 20s, portrayed by Nicholas Galitzine, unexpectedly falls for her, challenging societal norms and redefining notions of age, love, and attraction.

Gabrielle Union claps back at critics for marrying, Dwyane Wade, who is nine years younger.
Gabrielle Union claps back at critics for marrying, Dwyane Wade, who is nine years younger. (Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

In an interview with Business Insider, Union, who is 51 and married to 42-year-old retired NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade, mentioned that she can relate to the protagonist of the film.

“I can relate to that story. I happen to be an older gal with a younger fella,” the “Bring It On” star said when talking about the film.

“To be truly seen is to be truly loved,” she explained. “And when you are finally able to see yourself, that’s the best kind of love. That’s been part of her journey [Hathaway in the movie], and it’s been my journey.”

According to Union, she feels the “hottest” she has ever been, even though she admits that in some spaces she feels “invisible.”

“I didn’t peak at 26,” she explains. “There’s so much more to life; there’s so much more meaning to be seen and to be had. So much more knowledge to gain. And I’m anything but invisible. And I think the more we talk about it, the more people can feel seen.”

“The Perfect Find,” which explores intergenerational relationships and the various opinions that may arise from those involved, draws parallels to Union’s own life with her younger spouse.

Her character faces scrutiny from her boss, played by Gina Torres, regarding her relationship with her 20-something son, played by actor Keith Powers. This tension escalates in the movie, adapted from Tia Williams’ novel, when Torres’ character discovers the couple’s intimacy in her apartment, leading to Union’s character being ejected from the premises.

Union previously revealed that Wade’s mother, Jolina Wade, similarly questioned their relationship initially, providing personal insight into her portrayal for the Netflix production.

“I lived it,” she recalled to Business Insider in 2023. “Being with someone who’s nine years younger than me and dealing with it. In the very beginning, (Wade’s mother) was like … ‘What do you want?’ … So you pull from those things.”

At a certain point, Union said, she had to block people out and not allow them to have a say-so over her love life.

“I married my husband when I was almost 41, and everyone was like, ‘oh,’” Union said, adding, “People start to police what your dreams should be. What you should even want at your age, at your ‘big age.’”

For years fans have taken to social media to comment on how the “Bring It On” star remains the epitome of Black don’t crack.

“The funny thing about these age gaps conversations is yall be forgetting that Gabrielle got 10 years on D Wade. But social media wasn’t the same back then so nobody fake cared lol,” one X user wrote after the article dropped.

In 2012 one person posted, “I never realized the 10 year age difference of Gabrielle Union and Dewayne Wade…Gabby looks great for 40.”

Two years later, one person posted that she simply didn’t know that there was an age difference between the two lovebirds.

“Wth. Why am I now realizing Wade & Gabby’s age difference?” a comment read in amazement.

One person on the X platform wrote, “I had to look up d.wade sr age cuz he really only looks maybe 10 years older lol he’s 66, gabby could’ve had either one.”

Union and Wade dated for years before tying the knot in 2014. She was 41 and he was 31 at the time. Most discussions about their age difference have died down but it occasionally comes up. They share a 5-year-old daughter, Kaavia James, as well as Wade’s two children from his past relationships and his adopted nephew, Dahveon Morris.

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