It's no secret that, historically, females in Hollywood are often typecast into narrow and limited roles, something which many actresses have spoken out about in recent times. Today The Martian star, Jessica Chastain has, once again, come out firing on the issue by talking about the continued over-sexualizing of female action heroes in movies.
In an interview with Radio Times, Chastain pointed the finger at how studios have repeatedly taken away from already "kick-ass" female characters but unnecessarily put them in tight "catsuit" type clothing. Chastain told Radio Times:
“If you look at films like Elektra and Aeon Flux, the problem that studios have is that they try to make kickass women very sexualized. They have to be in some catsuit. But if you look at the most incredible female roles, like Ripley in Alien, she is a very sexy woman but she’s not wearing a lot of make-up. She’s in a T-shirt and jeans. What’s sexy about her is how capable she is. Same with Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Games – she’s not wearing a catsuit, either.”
Chastain then went on to talk about how studios need to catch up with the times, having made errors in judgement in the past about what it was they thought audiences wanted to see in a female character.
“Studios have misjudged it in the past, and thought audiences weren’t interested in seeing a woman in an action role who’s a capable, intelligent woman and isn’t only leaning on her sex.”
The actress also explained how she personally only takes on roles in films where she feels that her female character is just as interesting as the male character, otherwise, she says, "I'm not interested."
Following her interview with Radio Times, Chastain took to Twitter to talk more about the issue, posting the following message:
She then followed that up with a number of examples including Mad Max: Fury Road, The Terminator, The Hunger Games, Alien and Edge of Tomorrow.
Chastain is obviously a person with a passion for speaking out against sexism and over-sexualization of females in Hollywood, having come out in defense of actress and director Rose McGowan a few months ago. McGowan was dropped by her agency, after tweeting a sexist casting note for a film being made by Adam Sandler's production company, Happy Madison.
Chastain's latest role is as Commander Melissa Lewis in Ridley Scott's The Martian, and from all accounts, it seems as though Commander Lewis ticks all the boxes on Chastain's list as to how she expects a female character to be portrayed.