Actress Helen Mirren says the film industry’s sexism is a problem that is both deep-rooted and part of a larger issue within society’s perspective of women.
Mirren, 70, has sounded off on the hot button issue in the past, and is now back in the news to talk about the industry’s systematic failures surrounding gender inequality. The actress spoke of hiring practices in the film business, claiming women are often selected for roles based on their sex appeal rather than talent.
“There is profound sexism,” she said. “The ‘Would you f*ck her?’ kind of attitude.”
On the cinema screen, your face is 10ft high and 6ft wide. It’s huge. And I, as a cinematographer, like to see beautiful faces up there – it’s a pleasure. But there’s also story and entertainment, and one wants variety in that.
You also want as an audience member, to see people that you recognize and can identify with.
Mirren has declared real change will not come about until women begin to assume stronger leadership roles in society as a whole.
“When roles for women in real life change, then you will see change in the film industry,” she said.
“If we happen to see a [female] president of the United States, and a world expert on marine biology comes on television and it’s a woman, or the female head of a petroleum company on the news,” she added.
It’s also hard to find real men in Hollywood anymore, according to Mirren, who slammed how young actors are pressured to maintain “ridiculous bodies.”
“It’s absolutely incredible. They all have to have these ridiculous bodies now that are completely unrealistic,” she said. “And it’s very hard to find a male actor with a real body. They all have to be in the gym for three or four hours a day. Tedious. Awful.”