It starts with the scripts
Actor Naomie Harris comments on the portrayal of women in movies:
“Everything starts in the writing, and getting more and more women’s perspective in the writing will have a huge impact on the quality of films we get.
“At the moment, we don’t really see women as we see ourselves and as we really are because it’s only men writing for us.
“I’ve read a lot of scripts where I’ve thought: “No women would ever say that! No woman would ever behave like that!”
“Women are put into these categories of bitch, mother or sex symbol. If we had more women writing we would have a more realistic representation of what it’s like to be a woman.”
She has not yet been directed by a woman, and says she would love to be:
“It would make a big difference. Often as an actress you can feel very alienated, especially if you are playing the female lead in a male-dominated cast and environment.
“It’s very hard to feel relaxed, to feel able to express yourself and to feel that you will be heard in that kind of environment… Film is such a male-dominated industry.”
[Photo and quotes from her imdb page.]
Naomie Harris is a Cambridge University grad, and says “I was a Jane Austen freak growing up, and I’ve always wanted to do something [with] my dissertation on black people in 18th-century Britain.” [Entertainment Weekly June30/July7 2006]
Creative collaboration with women
In my article The Company of Women, a number of women in film comment on this topic.
Michelle Pfeiffer recalls working with Cher and Susan Sarandon on “The Witches of Eastwick” – “We really banded together: the three of us and Jack…Women in the business can be very supportive of each other.”
And Sally Field has commented in interviews that she feels “Actresses and other women in the industry need to have contact with each other. Not to tell sob stories, but to kick each other in the butt creatively.”