Geena Davis and Emma Watson Tackle Hollywood Sexism; Not Literally, Just in an Interview

Emma Watson and Geena Davis. Photo: Getty Images

In the new issue of Interview magazine, Geena Davis, the woman who hates media sexism so much she started an entire institute to eradicate it, sat down with Emma Watson, who's currently devoting her year to becoming a better intersectional feminist, to compare notes about the state of roles for women in Hollywood. It's not pretty. As Davis put it, "The world is missing female characters. A lot of times there is one female character, maybe even a cool one, maybe even an important one. But where are all the rest?" (In 2014, women received less than 30 percent of speaking parts in major Hollywood films.) Watson agreed, noting that it's hard to realize just how bad the problem is unless you're specifically looking for it. "If you've been sold the line that gender equality is something that is solved, and that we now live in an equal world and this has all been tackled, you're not looking for it in the same way," she said. "I would say there have been different stages of my feminist awakening. The more layers you peel back and the more things you're made aware of, you're like, 'Oh, my God.'"

The public is becoming increasingly aware of how bad the problem is, but Davis says consciousness-raising among moviegoers isn't her institute's primary goal. Getting into the room where the decisions are made is. "We go meet with every studio, every guild, every network, every production company and share it with them, privately," she explained. "I don't really bust anybody publicly. It's much more efficient if I can impact the creators. So that's what we do. It's had a great impact."