carey mulligan calls out sexism in the film industry
The Suffragette actor wants more interesting film roles for women.
The film industry is "obviously massively sexist" according to Carey Mulligan. In an interview with Time Out London, Mulligan criticised the big-screen gender divide, explaining that "There's a lack of material for women. A lack of great stories for women." It's a view held by many in the industry and beyond, and a problem brought into sharp focus by the Bechdel test. In order to pass the Bechdel test, a film must feature at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man; it's not much to ask, but most Hollywood blockbusters fail miserably.
In Mulligan's latest film, Far From The Madding Crowd, which premiered at the BFI in London a week ago, she plays Bathsheba Everdeen, a romantic but strong character. "I just loved that there was a story set in Victorian Britain about a woman who rejects a proposal in the first 20 pages. She doesn't start off looking for a man to marry. It was amazing that [Thomas Hardy] wrote such a complex, interesting, fully fleshed out character who was so ahead of her time", she says.
A teaser trailer for Mulligan's upcoming film Suffragette (which will surely be an exception to the Bechdel-test-failing rule) has also recently been released. The film, about the beginnings of the women's rights movement isn't out for months, but the trailer was released to encourage young women to register to vote in the UK General Election before the 20 April deadline. Mulligan points out that a film about the Suffragettes has been a long time coming: "The mere fact that it's taken 100 years for this story to be told is hugely revealing. This is the story of equal rights in Britain, and it took years of struggle and women being tortured, abused and persecuted, and it's never been put on-screen. It's such a reflection of our film industry that that story hasn't been told yet."
The wait is almost over: the film, which also stars Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Whishaw, is out 11 September.