Elizabeth Banks has called out fellow filmmaker Steven Spielberg for failing to direct more movies with a female lead.
The Hunger Games star named and shamed the movie legend as she spoke to reporters on the red carpet at the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards in Los Angeles on Tuesday night (13Jun17), where she was honored with the Crystal Award for her efforts in expanding the roles of women within the industry.
As she discussed the hot-topic issue of the lack of strong leading female roles in Hollywood, Banks noted how Spielberg’s films tend to revolve around male characters.
“I went to Indiana Jones and Jaws and every movie Steven Spielberg ever made, and by the way, he’s never made a movie with a female lead,” she said. “Sorry, Steven. I don’t mean to call your a** out, but it’s true.”
An onlooker raised the fact he had worked on Whoopi Goldberg’s The Color Purple, prompting Banks to remark, “OK, The Color Purple. OK, I’m wrong.”
Returning to the point of her comments, Banks insisted it’s important for younger generations to appreciate films of all kinds, whether they feature a male or female lead.
“I grew up going to see amazing movies with amazing men at the heart of them and no one dragged me screaming and kicking to see these movies. They are great movies,” she reasoned. “Tell great stories and invite people into the stories.”
The star then urged parents to do their part, too, by taking their kids to support female-fronted movies.
“I’m the mother of two boys…,” she added, “and their favorite movie for like, two-and-a-half years, was Frozen… I am so proud that I get to raise my two boys to love women. And I’m so proud that I get to present an example to them of a working mum who really loves what she does. And I take the responsibility very seriously…”
Concluding her interview with a message of gratitude to her husband Max Handelman, she said, “He really expects them to want to go see cool movies with really awesome, kick-a** female leads. I appreciate that very much in helping me shape them in great little feminists.”