It’s no secret that it’s tough to be a woman in Hollywood. While men get opportunities to be heroes, villains and everything in between, most female roles boil down to wife or girlfriend, and when you are no longer considered sexually viable, mother. The limit placed upon female actresses is a real shame, and Jessica Chastain is tired of it. Even if a woman gets the opportunity to play the action hero, she is still usually relegated to a catsuit and heels. She lays it out pretty clearly in a recent interview with Radio Times:
“If you look at films like Elektra and Aeon Flux, the problem that studios have is that they try to make kickass women very sexualised. They have to be in some catsuit. But if you look at the most incredible female roles, like Ripley in Alien, she is a very sexy woman but she’s not wearing a lot of make-up. She’s in a T-shirt and jeans. What’s sexy about her is how capable she is. Same with Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Games – she’s not wearing a catsuit, either.”
It’s safe to say that Chastain is not a fan of the catsuit. She goes on to say that unless the role she’s being considered for is as interesting as the male characters, “she’s not interested.” On the bright side, Chastain does think that there is a shift in audience expectations on the rise, and that the studios will eventually have to take notice.
“Studios have misjudged it in the past, and thought audiences weren’t interested in seeing a woman in an action role who’s a capable, intelligent woman and isn’t only leaning on her sex.”
Chastain stars in The Martian, opening this weekend, as Commander Lewis, leader of a failed expedition to Mars, so it’s safe to assume that the character will be an interesting and complex one. Hopefully as she and others continue to speak out against the sexism in the industry, the current tides will change.
(Via Radio Times)