forbes women's summit

Patty Jenkins Looks Forward to One Day Being a Director Without the ‘Female’ Prefix

The Cut is reporting live from today’s Forbes Women’s Summit in New York City. Here’s what you’re missing.

Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins recently broke the record for the top North American debut for a female director when the film brought in $100.5 million in its opening weekend. In conversation with Moira Forbes, executive vice-president of Forbes Media, Jenkins spoke about what she hopes will now follow for her and other female directors. “I look forward to one day getting to be a director and not having anything shaded by that female lens,” she said. “This film in particular, with a woman lead and with me directing, it’s worth noting and commenting on. I definitely think there is a missing feminine voice in Hollywood in the first place.”

But, she added, she was perplexed by why female directors were overlooked for big opportunities like Wonder Woman. “There are women who have been running studios, there are very powerful producers, writers,” she said. “There is something interesting about directing. I was a cameraperson for a long time — ten years. It’s been tremendously helpful in my career as a director because being on set was so familiar to me. There might be some sort of concept that women are less suited for understanding these technical things.” But, she advised industry execs, “The world is changing. If you want to get rich, pay attention to this [female] audience.”

And for the young female directors watching the rise of directors like Jenkins, Kathryn Bigelow, and Ava DuVernay, she passed on this advice: “Hard work is first and foremost. We’re not glorifying the hard work that it really takes to do what you want in life. Secondarily, don’t think about being a woman at all. Just trudge forward with blinders on.”

Patty Jenkins Hopes Someday We’ll Lose the ‘Female’ Prefix