Men are important, women are replaceable.
That’s the thinking process that guides casting processes in the film business, where studios and financiers won’t seriously consider an actress until her male co-star has signed on the dotted line. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but if you read the trades long enough, you’ll start noticing there’s a gendered pattern in who gets cast first — an indication of who’s considered most important to a film. (Hint: It’s rarely a woman.)
In an interview with Glamour, Anna Kendrick, an Oscar nominee and a bona fide A-lister confirmed (albeit anecdotally) that this practice is just another open secret in the film industry. “There’s [a film I’m considering] now where I have to wait for all the male roles to be cast before I can even become a part of the conversation,” she said. “Part of me gets that. [But] part of me is like, ‘What the fuck? You have to cast for females based on who’s cast as males?’”
Kendrick put a positive spin on it, concluding, “The only explanation is that there are so many fucking talented girls, and from a business standpoint, it’s easier to find women to match the men. I totally stand by the belief that there are 10 unbelievably talented women for every role.” But it’s also the case that, in this current era where female-led films are anomalies, especially at the multiplex, there’s a vicious cycle at play, where the scarcity of women on screen leads to the devaluation of women’s stories and the actresses who help tell them, which in turn leads to the continued lack of female leads.
Still, no one can say Kendrick is hurting for work. The actress has eight films coming out in the near future, among them the Elizabeth Banks-directed “Pitch Perfect 2,” which debuts May 15.