Olivia Wilde is sharply aware of her place in Hollywood, and recently had some great things to say about women expanding their roles in Tinsel Town.
During a panel called The State of Female Justice: Los Angeles, the actress shared that once she realized that she was best known as Dr. Thirteen from House, she was struck by how limited her roles have been, despite her 40-plus movies as a supporting character. Here's a bit of her talk below:
I don't know if some of you have been to these live reads at LACMA, where a classic film is read live on stage by actors who just sit and read the script. We did one recently of American Pie, but we reversed the gender roles. All the women played men; all the men played women. And it was so fascinating to be a part of this because, as the women took on these central roles — they had all the good lines, they had all the good laughs, all the great moments — the men who joined us to sit on stage started squirming rather uncomfortably and got really bored because they weren't used to being the supporting cast.
It was fascinating to feel their discomfort [and] to discuss it with them afterward, when they said, "It's boring to play the girl role!" And I said, "Yeah. Yeah. You think? Welcome to our world!"
Women and Hollywood writes Wilde realized that it’s tough to get stories about women greenlit in Hollywood, let alone films starring women: "I'm really interested in how we can adjust that, considering that it's all just based on demand."
So, if films are produced in reaction to audience demand, wouldn't the quickest path to more lady-led movies be oodles of women (and men of the same opinion) voicing that desire? Because, uh, we are. The key, then, is really having female (and men of the same opinion) production and distribution executives in places to support and finance those projects. First you get the producers, then you get the power, then you get the women.