Wise words from SJP and Jessica Chastain
From the editors of InStyle US
Words by Meghan Overdeep
Sarah Jessica Parker and Jessica Chastain are teaming up in a mission to make Hollywood more inclusive. Participating in an all-female PGA panel, called ‘The Power to Shake It Up,’ over the weekend, both actor-producers discussed the steps they’re taking to increase diversity in Tinseltown, and offered their advice for women trying to make it in the infamously sexist industry, IndieWire reports.
Seated alongside their producing partners Alison Benson and Kelly Carmichael, and PGA president, Lori McCreary, SJP and Chastain opened up about the path forward for women in Hollywood.
‘There are more solutions beyond this panel, and many of them are women of colour who I think have important stories to tell and need to continue to be encouraged to contribute to these stories that I think that we all want to hear, I think that are necessary and vital and dynamic and incredible,’ Parker, the founder of Pretty Matches Productions, said.
The 52-year-old also revealed her very un-Carrie Bradshaw approach to casting. ‘I love not getting jobs sometimes,’ she noted. ‘The process of wanting something, seeking, working toward, and not getting it sort of adds up more. A girl gets her heart broken, I’m like, “Oh my God, that’s fantastic! Years from now, that’s going to be some experience that’s going to be really good.”’
They also discussed their tactics for empowering women in the industry, which according to IndieWire, means hiring female interns, steering women toward departments they hadn’t previously considered, placing more women than men in crowd scenes, and fighting for fair production credits.
Chastain, who explained that she founded Freckle Films in February 2016 because she realised that being part of the industry meant that she ‘was a part of the problem,’ revealed that she has a rule that requires her to work with at least one female filmmaker every year. She also discussed her habit of choosing roles that move away from the stereotype of a traditional woman.
‘A lot of people were saying to me, “You’re always such strong women,” and I find that the most obnoxious thing to say to a person, because basically it’s implicating that women aren’t normally strong,’ a myth she blames the media for perpetuating.
Chastain left the panel with a reminder that inclusiveness means more than just giving women jobs. ‘This is an industry that encourages actors to stay closeted, and I would suggest that we break free from that and start casting people not based on their sexual preference,’ she said. ‘Allow someone who is openly homosexual, lesbian, whatever, to play someone who’s not. And I think the more we start to do that, the more inclusive we’ll be.’
You go, girls!