There is a long (not yet online) interview in NY Magazine with Nancy Meyers. A lot of it focuses on gender and Hollywood. The reality is Nancy was really one of two women (the other being Nora Ephron) who got studio movies made. Now, Nora is sadly gone, and Nancy Meyers just got her first movies made — “The Intern” — since 2009.
Some of the problem has to do with budget issues — her movies are too expensive (those sets!) to be indies and are about women and have conversations where things don’t blow up, so studio money for those types of films are scare.
She addresses the fact that her films are not taken seriously because of the “chick flick label”, the funny young comedians of today like Mindy Kaling and Amy Schumer, how she started directing and the interview spends a fair amount of time discussing sexism in Hollywood.
Here’s my favorite section. This is the end of the conversation. The question is: Do you think the sexism in Hollywood is changing?
I think there’s a shift in the tenor of the conversations going on right now in Hollywood about women – from the women. Women in Hollywood want to talk, or, should I say, want to be heard. They don’t want to sweep the gender issue under the rug anymore. And there is most certainly a gender issue. I can’t point a finger at anyone and say who’s responsible, but it’s the culture in Hollywood, which I guess reflects the culture-period. Big Movies are reserved for the guys, no one says it, but that’s the way it is, right? Is it something about turning over $70 million to a woman or $50 million or $30 million or $150 million? I don’t know. But let’s be honest, that’s pretty much all they’ve been making for a while now.
And the director problem? Even I was saying for a minute that maybe women just don’t want to direct the big-cape movies or tentpole movies because maybe they can’t really relate, but now I’m thinking that’s not true. Let’s not assume women don’t want in on those kind of movies. Women can direct dinosaurs. Believe me.
I remember a time not too long ago when nobody would even ask, let alone answer this question in the way Nancy Meyers just did. That’s part of the chain. The courage to call out bullshit.