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Directors Give Actresses The Power Of Zeus

Illustration for article titled Directors Give Actresses The Power Of Zeus

"I feel that there's different rules [for a young actress] compared to how they treat the older male star of the film," says Emily Blunt, adding, "For a while I had to eat shit."


That's from The Hollywood Reporter, which compiled a somewhat random assemblage of anecdotes from actresses about their dynamics with directors. There's this puzzler from Oliver Stone's direction of Maggie Gyllenhaal on the set of World Trade Center:

He took her hands, looked in her eyes and said: "I give you the power of Zeus."

Those words worked magic. They gave Gyllenhaal (currently in theaters with "Crazy Heart") just the confidence she needed, and from that point on it was smooth sailing.


How did she not burst out laughing? Still, it's a useful reminder of how directors are gods on the set, which the reporter writes, oddly, "can pose particular problems for actresses who, in today's economy, rarely have as much clout as their male counterparts." As opposed to the boom times when actresses called all the shots?

The intensity of the interactions and the fact that all of the directors mentioned are male doubtless means these interactions can be fraught with sexual undertones (or more) in addition to the usual power dynamics, but the article doesn't go into this. (Probably because the actresses would have hung up on the reporter). It also doesn't talk about what sort of relationship male actors have with their directors, or what happens on that rare occasion when an actress works with a female director. Paging Meryl Streep!

Actresses, Directors Work Through Tense Moments [THR]

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As an actress, personally I prefer my director to endow me with the power of Greyskull.