Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde
Jessica Chastain has never been shy about lifting the lid on sexism in Hollywood. Not only did she write an eloquent and moving essay about gender imbalance in the film industry for The Hollywood Reporter, but she also encourages diversity in her field through her own production company, Freckle Films.
On top of all that, the 39-year-old actress has been nominated for two Oscars, sits on the board for an organisation encouraging equality in film, and has a plethora of successful movies under her belt.
So no need for anyone to tell her what she’s doing. Right?
Wrong, apparently. Because one Hollywood director decided that she needed to pipe down when talking about all this ‘women stuff’.
Jessica told the in-flight magazine American Way that a director, who she fully admired, gave her this advice while they were working on a film together.
‘I had one male director say to me that I talk too much about all of this ‘women stuff’. This is a person I love, and maybe he was concerned I would hurt my career,’ she said.
‘I’m not attacking anyone. I’m trying to create more inclusiveness, compassion and empathy – which in turn makes better movies, better art.’
However, Jessica is committed to fighting for the causes she believes in, and plays complicated women in a bid to break away from static female roles.
‘I just don’t know why it’s not changing. I’m doing my part to make the change, so why isn’t everyone else?’
But perhaps she’s not as alone as she feels. Just this week, the cast of popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory took pay cuts in order to allow their two female co-stars to get a raise.