Carey Mulligan is excited about the future. At a Thursday afternoon conversation at the Cannes Film Festival, part of Kering’s always-stellar Women in Motion series, the “Wildlife” actress opened up about how recent changes in Hollywood have begun to erode some of the imbalances she’s long seen in the industry, especially when it comes to female directors and the opportunities afforded to them.
“Now, we’re starting to address the balance,” she said. “But there are people who’ve made great films who haven’t had the opportunities that a male director would have had. Dee Rees, for example… She should direct everything, I think she’s a genius. And I think if she was a man, probably those opportunities would have come quicker. I’m sure they are all coming, but I think that’s largely to do with what’s happened in the last year.”
Mulligan, who has often worked with female directors — from “Mudbound” helmer Rees to Lone Scherfig, who directed her breakout film “An Education,” to Sarah Gavron on “Suffragette” — believes that the conversations that are currently happening in Hollywood are leading to actionable change, the kind of change that’s been long overdue.
“I think all of these opportunities are now coming for women in a great way because of this great new movement, but it’s all right, it’s all correcting something,” she said. “There’s been an injustice, there’s no meritocracy, there’s been a massive injustice towards women directors in the past, and hopefully that’s starting to be corrected.”
Mulligan also shared that she’s also fought back against feeling that she wasn’t being treated equally, especially in her early years in acting. “There were times where I worked on films where I felt like my voice didn’t have as much clout [as male co-stars],” she said.
The actress also thinks that the current Time’s Up and #MeToo movements are having a positive effect when it comes changing day-to-day interactions in creative environments. She shared that she was happy to discover that the Royal Court Theatre, where the actress recently appeared in “Girls & Boys,” makes its employees read and sign a code of conduct. That’s the kind of action she wants to see.
“Those kind of conversations are great, but it needs to be set in stone so when you come into the workplace you know how to behave,” said Mulligan.
You can check out a clip from the chat below, plus see more from Kering’s Women in Motion program on its official website.