Life Imitates Art

Life Imitates Art - APRIL 11, 2011 Life Imitates Art Geena...

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APRIL 11, 2011 Life Imitates Art Geena Davis on how gender inequality on TV and in movies has a powerful impact on kids Geena Davis is an Academy Award-winning actor, probably best known for her roles in movies such as "Thelma and Louise," "A League of Their Own" and "The Accidental Tourist." But in more recent years, she has become an advocate for gender equality in children's entertainment. As founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, she aims to work with content creators to increase the number of girls and women in films and television shows aimed at kids. She sat down with The Wall Street Journal's Rebecca Blumenstein to discuss her career, the role that changed her life and the problem with the way women are portrayed in G-rated movies. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation. A Life-Changing Role MS. BLUMENSTEIN: You became known for picking your roles very carefully. Why did you feel so strongly about that at an early point? MS. DAVIS: It was really for purely selfish reasons, because as an actor I wanted to feel challenged and, you know, play baseball rather than be the girlfriend of the person who plays baseball. MS. BLUMENSTEIN: The film "Thelma and Louise" has such a strong feminist message. Did you realize that signing up for it? MS. DAVIS: I don't think any of us involved in the movie had any idea the reaction that it was going to get. It was very unusual because it had two excellent female parts, and I desperately wanted to be in it. But what happened was when that movie came out, the difference between if somebody recognized me at the cleaners or something before that movie and that weekend that it came out—it was just night and day. Afterward, I had women holding me by the lapels, so I could hear their story. And that experience really brought home to me how few opportunities we give women to feel like that about a movie. To feel passionately identified with it and feel empowered and thrilled. It's just incredibly rare. And I think
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2012 for the course CSR 309 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Purdue.

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Life Imitates Art - APRIL 11, 2011 Life Imitates Art Geena...

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