Anne Hathaway recently spoke to Elle Magazine about her husband, her experiences filming , an upcoming film featuring a cast predominantly composed of women, and the importance of providing paid parental leave. She talked about her personal experiences as a mother, and her inability to understand why paid parental leave was not already a given.
During the interview, Hathaway admitted that she only recently realized how pervasive gender inequality is in Hollywood. In her experiences filming Ocean’s Eight, the actress was exposed to an entirely new work atmosphere. As a result, she shared, “Hollywood is not a place of equality. I don’t say that with anger or judgment; it’s a statistical fact.” Hathaway’s matter-of-fact way of stating the pervasive gender inequality in her profession makes the issue less about how she feels and more about the statistical accuracy of the statement.
Hathaway went on to say, “Even though I’ve been in some female-centric films, I’ve never been in a film like this. It just kind of makes you aware of the ways you sort of unconsciously change yourself to fit certain scenarios.” In her experiences, Hathaway has had to subtly change her behaviors and views to fit into the work environments she was in, which were primarily male-dominated. As a woman, she was often the minority among casts and crews, a fact that led her to change aspects of herself without even noticing.
The star described her experience working on a predominantly female cast for once, saying, “It’s not better or worse … or right or wrong, but there are certain things you understand about one another because of experiences you have in common … it’s probably easy for men to take that for granted. Just being on a set where I’m the one who possesses that ease is really something. It’s a nice alternative narrative.”
Because the acting industry has an unequal proportion of men to women, it has often focused on the experiences that men have in common, which are different than those that many women experience. This is a problematic limitation, as it not only alienates women in the field, but it also constricts the depth and variety of experiences present in the industry as a whole. Any environment that contains a majority of one group over another can experience this unequal distribution of input and can suffer from it.
Hathaway’s experience in Ocean’s Eight may have been a relief primarily because it allowed her to be at ease to share her own experiences and ideas. In the future, as women are given more opportunities in the industry, Hollywood’s workplace can become one of diversity with the equal presence of men and women.
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