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anna kendrick calls out sexism in the film industry

The Pitch Perfect 2 actor is the latest star to shame Hollywood's lack of gender equality, shedding light on nefarious casting practices.

by Charlotte Gush
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06 May 2015, 11:20am

Pitch Perfect 2 star Anna Kendrick has become the latest Hollywood actress to speak out against the sexist casting practices in the film industry. After Carey Mulligan condemned the lack of interesting roles for women and Kristen Stewart explained that women have to "work a little bit harder to be heard", Anna Kendrick has highlighted a very specific casting practice that would result in the kinds of inequality that can be hard to explain, like why male-led films are winning all the awards.

Pointing out that "All the films nominated [for a Best Picture Oscar] this year had male leads. Like, every single one," in an interview with Glamour, Kendrick revealed that, "There's [a film I'm considering] now where I have to wait for all the male roles to be cast before I can even become a part of the conversation. Part of me gets that. [But] part of me is like, "What the fuck? You have to cast for females based on who's cast as males?" It's an incredible insight that may explain why so many (almost all) Hollywood films fail the Bechdel test (which asks that a film include two women, who speak to each other about something other than a man). Basically, the women are cast to support the male storyline, not to have stories of their own.

Perhaps this is one reason why she was drawn to the feminist portrayal of Cinderella in Stephen Sondheim's musical Into the Woods, earlier this year. In an interview with i-D, Kendrick said, "Cinderella is such a complicated character, especially this version of Cinderella. She is saying no to the wrong kind of love. This is a woman who has been abused all her life and she is being presented love for the first time and she still has the courage to say it isn't good enough. And I think in real life that's very rare. It was important for me to honour the strength of a woman who would do that."

Although she notes that she is "glad that [equality's] feeling like a bigger issue now," Kendrick has a different explanation for the men-before-women casting that rather lets the industry off the hook: "To me, the only explanation is that there are so many fucking talented girls, and from a business standpoint it's easier to find women to match the men. I totally stand by the belief that there are 10 unbelievably talented women for every role." I guess you've got to tell yourself something, but at least she also debunks the boring bitchy-women stereotype when asked if the casting policy makes women more competitive by saying, "I don't think it makes you more competitive. If anything, it bonds you because we're all dealing with the same problem."