Anne Hathaway just admitted something that clearly wasn't easy to get out: even though the Oscar-winning actress made her stance on women's rights known, she once had a mindset that was sexist and full of "internalized misogyny" against female directors.
In an interview on Popcorn with Peter Travers, the film critic and host asked Hathaway about something from her career that was a major learning moment that she still holds dear today. And, instead of giving us a behind-the-scenes story about working with Meryl Streep on 2006's The Devil Wears Prada or singing live in 2012's Les Misérables, Hathaway went much deeper.
Recalling the set of 2011's One Day, Hathaway admitted to sincerely regretting "not trusting" filmmaker Lone Scherfig "more easily." Yes, it was this indie film — co-starring Jim Sturgess — from the Danish director that is at the forefront of Hathaway's mind when looking back at a career stretching back to around the year 2000.
"And I am to this day scared that the reason I didn't trust her the way I trust some of the other directors I've worked with is because she's a woman," the 34-year-old said. "I'm so scared that I treated her with internalized misogyny. And I'm scared that I didn't give her everything that she needed or that I should have because I was resisting her on some level."
Not only does Hathaway regret how she felt about her time working with Scherfig — promising that they did get along and there was no drama on the set — that wasn't the only moment this "internalized misogyny" has popped up.
"When I get a script, when I see a first film directed by a woman, I have in the past focused on what was wrong with it," Hathaway added. "And when I see a film first directed by a man, I focus on what's right with it. I focus on where he could go with the next one and I focus on where she failed to go."
Not wanting to make assumptions about the entire film industry, Hathaway said, "I can only acknowledge that I've done that and I don't want to do that anymore." That said, the mother of one did acknowledge that female directors have to try so much harder in a male-dominated space that filmmaking is. It's true — and there are statistics to back that up.
One study, notes that women made up 17 percent of all directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers working on 2016's top 250 films. This is a decline of 2 percent from the same study from 2015. And, for female directors specifically, there was just 7 percent representation — another 2 percent drop from the year prior. That same study also notes that, of the top 250 films of 2016, there were 35 percent that had not even one woman in the roles mentioned earlier in this paragraph. This is a bad thing, too, because the study revealed a correlation between increased hiring for women in behind-the-scenes roles when there was at least one female director attached to the project than when there were exclusively male directors.
Another study reveals that, when looking at the top 1,000 films from 2007 to 2016, there was only a 4 percent representation of female directors. When you break it down, that means there was one female filmmaker per 24 male counterparts. In addition, the study also looked at race in relation to the director's chair and things were just as bad. Speaking to the fact that women are allowed fewer chances to make multiple films, it also showed that 54.8 percent of male directors only made one film during the years looked at while 80 percent of female directors only made one film.
"The thing that we don't even talk about is the mountains that you have to climb to even get to the place where you can have a failure, where somebody will give you the reigns to anything," Hathaway said. "That journey is way harder than it should be. It's not equal."
Kudos to Hathaway for speaking out so honestly about one of Hollywood's — as well as a former personal — shortcoming.
(H/T: Hello Giggles)