Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett, Carey Mulligan Push Back Against Sexism in Hollywood

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 1.06.59 PMEarlier this week we learned how sexism in Hollywood is dealt with by two major, mega-talented actors: Anne Hathaway and Sandra Bullock. Today, a new interview with actors Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Carey Mulligan, Ellen Page and Julianne Moore, all actors with impressive credits to their names and a hell of experience dealing with Hollywood’s sexism, calls even more attention to the problem.

These women are in the perfect position to critique Hollywood’s longstanding institutionalized sexism, as they are starring in possibly groundbreaking, definitely innovative films this year. In Freeheld, Julianne Moore plays a terminally ill New Jersey detective with a mission: to make sure her domestic partner, played by Ellen Page, receives her pension after her death.

In Carol, Cate Blanchett plays a 1950s housewife who falls in love with a woman, played by Rooney Mara.

Anne Hathaway helms the film The Intern, in which she plays the CEO of a start-up who hires a senior intern, played by Robert De Niro. And in Suffragette, Carey Mulligan, alongside Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter, tells the oft-untold story of the suffragette movement in early 20th century Britain.

All these films this year tackle social issues and feature a stellar cast of female characters. These female-driven movies are pivotal to breaking down the institutionalized sexism still stubbornly apparent in Hollywood.

In an interview with The New York Times, in which it’s stated succinctly that the movie industry is “failing women,” all of these illustrious actors shared words of wisdom on this problem, and offered many thoughts and possible methods of “attack” to effect change.

Hathaway, who recently said that the ageism she experiences now as a female actor in her 30s had benefitted her 10 years ago, had some wisdom about the faults of a system she tried her hardest to ignore:

I’ve for many years tried to tell myself I wasn’t treated differently because I was a woman. And I just thought maybe if I say these things they will be true. I wish they were, but they’re not.

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Carey Mulligan, who gives a powerful performance in Suffragette, revealed that she “never experienced anything like” the filming of that movie, because it was populated with so many women and was produced by so many women. And both Blanchett and Moore ended this enlightening interview with the differing ways they push back against sexism in the industry, using their star power and influence to effect small, but lasting, change.

Blanchett stated that if the director tells her that she needs to be topless in a scene, she asks, “Do I?” She continues:

You have to fight back and claim the right to develop the character. Women need to empower themselves and claim even a character that’s written in a clichéd way. You don’t have to play it that way.

But Julianne Moore places more responsibility on changing Hollywood’s sexism on the audiences of these films. She stated:

Vote with your money. If there’s something you don’t like, don’t go, don’t pay for it. And if there’s a female-driven movie out there that you want to see, buy a ticket. That’s really what makes a difference. My husband laughs at me, but I just won’t go see movies with only men in them. I just can’t bear it.

Even Robert De Niro had some thoughts about this persistent problem. When asked if he thought change was happening, he stated that it “won’t happen overnight.” He continued, “There’s a slow process where the change comes, sometimes generationally.” We can only hope that with the efforts of these fabulously talented female actors, and with audiences consistently showing that we’d love to pay money for female-driven movies, that change, even slow change, will occur.

About The Author
Lisa Lo Paro
Lisa is a freelance writer and bibliophile living on the outskirts of New York City. She likes 2 a.m. with a good book, takes cream in her coffee and heavily filters her photos. Check out her blog The Most Happy, her Instagram, and Twitter.