Monday, July 30, 2018

Leading Lady Parts (2018)

July 30, 2018: 

Tom Hiddleston joined forces with Gemma Arterton, Catherine Tate, Gemma Chan, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Felicity Jones, Stacy Martin, Florence Pugh, Katie Leung, Wunmi Mosaku, and Anthony Welsh in the short film Leading Lady Parts that aired on BBC4. This film - inspired by Time's Up Now - aims to shine a light on the portrayal of women in the media and the challenges women face in the workplace across all industries. The film was produced by Rebel Park Productions which was co-founded by Gemma Arterton, Jessica Parker, and Jessica Malik with the purpose of creating more opportunities for women in film and television. Tom appears at the very end of the short to audition for the "Leading Lady part" and immediately gets hired. This video is a tongue-in-cheek look at the challenges women face (but of course men can also be subjected to harassment and discrimination).

"I personally have heard things like 'Could you lose a little bit of weight?'. I remember once getting into an audition and the casting director saying 'Don't wear that jacket. You look really hench in that.' All the actors did additional EPK interviews and it's so funny hearing their stories. Everyone talks about being told to lose weight overnight and things that are so ridiculous. But since #MeToo and Time's Up, I think people are way more aware in casting situations of what they can and can't say. And it's not just women, by the way. Men get it worse to some extent. I remember Tom saying he's been told to just take off his shirt. It's so ridiculous in a job interview to be told 'Can you take your clothes off?' that's what it's such a great comic subject, because it's so ridiculous." - Gemma Arterton

Several iconic roles were also re-imagined with Tom as the female lead. 

Felicity Jones gave an interview on how the inspiration behind Leading Lady Parts was to deliver the message of Time's Up in a humorous way. There are also interviews with Emilia Clarke, Gemma Chan, Gemma Arterton, and Wunmi Mosaku where they discuss other challenges they have faced such as being asked to lose weight or turned away from roles because of their race. 

A common theme in each of their interviews is the fact they've only worked with a small number of female directors. Ironically, the person in this cast with the most female director experience is a man. Tom Hiddleston's career has been shaped by women since the beginning when he was discovered by Lorraine Hamilton while still a student at Cambridge. Some of the biggest milestones in his career were led by women: Joanna Hogg (Archipelago, Unrelated, Exhibition), Thea Sharrock (Henry V), Josie Rourke (Coriolanus), and Susanne Bier (The Night Manager). Tom Hiddleston was also directed by Minjander Virk (Out of Darkness), Peggy Holmes (The Pirate Fairy), and there were two female directors for Season 2 of Wallander (Hettie MacDonald and Aisling Walsh). 

Tom listed Joanna Hogg as the person who inspires him: We need more Joanna Hoggs in this world. 

Tom Hiddleston also gave an interview where he talks about the importance of listening to the Time's Up and Me Too movements: I had so much admiration for everyone who's come forward and spoken up, and the movement of Time's Up and Me Too. I wanted to find a way to help but I was very conscious of it not being necessarily my story. First thing I felt that it was important to do very actively was to listen, to read, to hear so that women could tell their stories and begin to talk about how we might change the environment... (Tom also says that he's worked with 5 female directors but as you can see above his real total is actually much higher)

The Leading Ladies Parts project urges people to donate to the Justice and Equity Fund. In February 2018, Tom Hiddleston was one of the first supporters donating £10,000 to this fund which aims to challenge the sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination that persists across all industries and sections of society

Tom has a long history of supporting causes related to women and equality. In 2014, he joined Emma Watson and UN Women's #HeForShe Campaign for the advancement of gender equality. 

Also, in 2014 Tom Hiddleston appeared in Elle Magazine's #ElleFeminism photo series, and told Elle

"I believe in the strength and intelligence and sensitivity of women." 

In 2015, Tom and Jessica Chastain were asked about the wage gap between men and women. Tom said, "I truly think it's an anathema to reason and reasonable thought. It should've been done a long time ago."  

In 2016, Tom presented at the Women in Film and TV Awards. At the time he said, "so may I just say, equal pay? Let's sort it out!". 

In 2017, Tom wore a ribbon marking International Women's Day to the premiere of Kong: Skull Island in Los Angeles. 


Rebel Park Productions
Elle UK

No comments:

Post a Comment