Whether it’s Jennifer Lawrence talking about her battle for pay equal to her male co-stars’, or Patricia Arquette demanding women’s rights in her Oscars speech, there’s been a spotlight on the opportunities and obstacles for women in Hollywood. But for all the positive woman-power talk rhetoric floating around, is the status of women in film measurably improving?
Director Catherine Hardwicke — best known for Thirteen and Twilight — has been outspoken about the need for more women to hold the reins on major films, so when the Cut ran into her at the premiere of her latest, Miss You Already, hosted by Cinema Society and Montblanc, we asked her if she thinks real change is in the cards. “We know that the statistics haven’t changed yet, but we have hope that they’re going to change,” Hardwicke responded. “Because people are talking about it, the spotlight’s being shined on it. People have to say we should have gender balance. When we live in a fifty-fifty world, why don’t we get to see fifty-fifty kind of movies or TV shows? So, we want to hear diversity in voices.”
Those stats she mentioned are grim, and certainly in need of change: In 2014, an estimated 4 percent of films were helmed by a woman, and the outlook for 2015 doesn’t trend much higher. But Hardwicke was upbeat despite the depressing statistic, saying, “Only 4 percent — that’s crazy. We have awesome fun stories to tell! We’ve got the skills! Let us do it, people!”