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5 Up-and-Coming Actors Share Why They Want to See More Women Directors in Hollywood

By GossipRevealed / Published on Saturday, 16 Jan 2016 06:51 AM / No Comments / 128 views

Have you met the five up-and-coming actors that we’re predicting you’ll fall in love with this spring yet? (Do that here!) When we spoke to the guys, we were genuinely impressed by how animated their opinions were on the ladies they have—and haven’t!—worked with in Hollywood. Not only were they raving about their female counterparts in some of this spring and winter’s biggest new shows and films (RACE, Allegiant, How to Be Single, and The 5th Wave), but they also had a few words about the strength of “a woman’s touch,” and their hopes to see more women behind the screen. Listen in:

Stephan James on working with Ava DuVernay on Selma: “Ava’s a wonderful female director and such a powerful, powerful figure—male or female—in the business at this point. The way she holds power on a set and how much respect I see that people have for her, and that I certainly have for her, it certainly makes me confident that it’s not about gender when you’re dealing with these types of things. Anyone can lead a movie and certainly deliver a product that’s worthy of discussion. There’s always a touch that women have when it comes to dealing with people on a personal sort of level. Ava was very gracious. When she had to give direction, she would make it a personal thing and make it a one-on-one thing, not shout from behind the director’s monitor. She would come up and have personal conversations with her actors. Even whisper in our ears, you know? It was a very personal experience working with her.”

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Bill Skarsgard on his hopes to work with more females behind the screen: “When you work on a TV show, you have a new director for each episode. We had a lot of female directors on Hemlock Grove. It’s sad that we don’t have more female directors. We just don’t, and it&’s a completely male-dominated profession, but I don’t think it should be because women are amazing storytellers. I want to work with more. I mean, I’ve done a feature film—or two feature films with female directors too. What it comes down to is that it doesn’t really matter. You can work with a shitty female director as much as you can work with a shitty male director. It doesn’t come down to the gender, but generally I think we should have more female directors out there. The same thing with photographers too. I have never ever worked with a female cinematographer. And I have worked a lot [of cinematographers], but never with a female cinematographer. I don’t even know if they exist. I’m sure they do, of course they do, but there’s even less women in that profession, which is also sad.”

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Alex Roe on working with a female director: “I would love to work with a female director. I haven’t yet. None of the things that I have ended up doing—I don’t think I’ve even auditioned for a movie with a female director, which just kind of highlights the fact that there aren’t enough female directors in Hollywood. For example, Nowhere Boy is an amazing movie. Sam Taylor-Johnson is the director of that, and she seems awesome. I think it is definitely a needed thing in Hollywood. A woman’s touch.”

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Nick Braun on his hopes to work with more females: “I worked with one female director like eight years ago on a tiny independent movie, but I haven’t worked with a female director recently. I would love to. I think it’d be really interesting. There are obviously several very revered female filmmakers, but I just haven’t come into contact with them yet.”

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Jake Lacy on working with female directors: “Certainly my interest or standard in any director is really in their clarity as a director, their interest in the story and the narrative, and where these characters have come from, and what they are trying to accomplish. And if that is a woman, that’s fantastic, and if that’s a man, that’s fantastic. I guess that’s the part that is the key for my life: a set of standards that are really based in creating something with a group of people, and whoever is able to get on board with that should be welcomed in to the circle. If I wind up on set, and there’s a female director, I think, ‘This is great!’ More women are getting a chance to direct, and that’s fantastic. But I’m also not the guy people call to say, ‘I think we’re going to go with a man.’ You know? I’m the hired gun that shows up on set and am like, ‘Oh, the director’s a woman! Fantastic!'”

Jake Lacy on working with Lena Dunham on Girls: “To be directed by Lena Dunham—I have two experiences with it now because I have been on Girls, where she has directed episodes, and I just did a small role in a pilot that she is directing. On Girls, she is also head writer, executive producer, and the star. And she knows when she’s directing what shots they are going to use and what they are not. So everything is very efficient and streamlined when they get to the editing room. It saves a lot of time because she has a very, very clear idea of what she wants it to look like on TV. But her directing an episode is only a small piece of what is happening for her in that episode. It’s not like she gets to step away from also playing Hannah and being the head writer and executive producer to just focus on directing—she’s just adding that on top of everything. It’s amazing to watch her jump between setting up the shot, giving a note to me and two other people in the scene, then doing the scene with the material that she has written and memorized, and then watching the playback, reassessing what she wants to do, making changes, giving two other notes, looking at the script for next week, and then she’s doing another take. You’re just like, holy sh*t, man! I’m perfectly happy just doing the acting thing. I’m perfectly happy with these very small parameters that are put on me, whereas she is answering a lot of different questions from a lot of different sources. And crushing it, each time. It’s amazing.”

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Photos: Skye Parrott

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