Lake Bell, director of the anticipated summer film In A World, spoke in an interview for her latest film that she acts in, Black Rock, directed by Katie Aselton, about being a woman director in Hollywood.
While we are all aware of the glaring inequality in the numbers, Bell remains optimistic about being a woman director, saying that at least in her experience she hasn’t encountered problems making a film because she’s a woman.
I feel that because it’s a question that’s posed to me. I don’t find it in the practicality of my day-to-day; I don’t find it hard to make a film because I am a woman. I think if you have a movie to make, make it. If you happen to have a vagina, that’s okay. Still make it.
I feel horrible if I’m being trite about it and someone has had a bad experience, but me personally, I have not found that. I think the film community itself is incredibly inviting and supportive and embraces filmmakers, so get in there and make a movie. It doesn’t have to cost a lot; Freebie [her first directorial effort] cost $15,000. You don’t have to sit there and wait for permission from a studio. Go make a movie…
I think I’m eager for the moment to arise when the story is less ‘What does it feel like to be a female director? I hope the story soon becomes ‘I either liked your movie or I didn’t, let’s talk about your movie.’ That’s the real goal. Because honestly I look around and I see wonderful role models that are ladies. People who are writers and directors, people who are actors and directors, writer actors. There are a myriad of them and I look around to all sides and I see support and feel support, so I guess I have a more optimistic outlook on them.
She makes an important point about not needing permission. Yet, while it’s great that Bell remains optimistic and that she hasn’t experienced any discrimination, she’s no dummy and actually is being trite. Damn, she even directed a movie about the sexism in Hollywood in the voice over business. We believe that it is important for women directors to be honest about their experiences, but it is also important for them to understand the realities that most other women directors experience.
For every Lake Bell statement about no discrimination we could print five or ten piece about how sexist Hollywood is. For example, earlier this week Michelle Rodriguez discussed her frustration with the writing for female characters in Hollywood as did Carey Mulligan in Cannes.