Kirsten Dunst’s plan to attract more women to Hollywood has many applications

Kirsten Dunst has carved out a long, well-regarded career the old-fashioned way: by being careful with her projects and doing a really good job in the ones she chooses. As she became a star with splashy pictures like Bring it on, Little woman and the original Spider Man trilogy, his adult career was marked by some serious fare like The power of the dog, Melancholia and FX Fargo, where she gets to showcase her range as an actor. She too, and this is not nothing, has worked with an inordinate number of female directors.

In a recently unearthed clip of a Hollywood Journalists Roundtable with her colleagues, she explains how it happened. Colleagues like Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Paulsen, Kerry Washington, Regina King and more bemoan the lack of female directors in Hollywood — which is certainly fair, women made up just 12% of the 100 highest-grossing films of 2021. And then Dunst speaks with his point of view. It is worth hearing.

“I’ve worked with so many female directors,” says Dunst. “I really like women. I have very strong female relationships. Little woman was a director. Sophia Coppola, of course. I will be working with her again this year. And, like, my girlfriends who made their first film. I did Leslye Hedlund. I’ve worked with so many female directors.

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“And I think that’s up to us as actresses,” she continues. “To give the opportunity to new directors. I mean, most of these people, it was their first time. I think that’s why – sometimes I think to myself, I just want to work with women! I’m finished! I don’t want to work with all these guys all the time! And then you just have to find it and create it for yourself.

This is obviously Hollywood, but it applies to more than just Hollywood. In any institution where there are people who have historically been on the fringes of the decision-making seat, like women in the film industry, it is not enough to wish there were more opportunities for them. It’s about people like Dunst taking a risk with untested young talent and giving them an opportunity.

Many places – just take the churches for example – say they are ready to give more opportunities to marginalized groups, like women and people of color. But then they balk because they say they’re having trouble finding someone experienced, and so the cycle continues for another generation. But Dunst says, it’s up to us to give those opportunities and take those risks. The better world we want will not come without some risks. But this risk is quite small compared to the risk we take of not changing anything at all.

About Michael Sauers

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