STRENGTH, DETERMINATION, EQUALITY: 75 YEARS OF WONDER WOMAN

Variety Magazine's October No.2 issue is a good read! I find inspiration and lessons in each of the stories of these powerful women. 

AVA DUVERNAY “I was mesmerized by the scope and the scale and the beauty of the brown people in the film,” says DuVernay. “To see Rita Moreno doing her thing and looking like friends who lived in my community — I remember that being a real formative image.”

AVA DUVERNAY

“I was mesmerized by the scope and the scale and the beauty of the brown people in the film,” says DuVernay. “To see Rita Moreno doing her thing and looking like friends who lived in my community — I remember that being a real formative image.”

HELEN MIRREN  Salary disparity has also become a hot topic recently. What’s your take on it? It’s such a complicated issue. How much money your last movie made, how many days you’ll spend doing the role. It’s not as simple as saying, “I want parity.” Of course, if there are a man and a woman on a set, and they’re doing the same number of days, and they’re of the same stature, then of course they should be paid the same. And it’s a hard thing to talk about, too, because obviously you’re not going to get much sympathy from people, since we’re talking about pretty massive sums of money. Which I think is why women in general, rather sweetly, said, “I’ve got enough money, that’s fine.” Men didn’t. I love the fact that women are speaking up. I thought what Jennifer Lawrence did was fabulous, and what Patricia Arquette did. They’re brave and I really approve of that. I certainly do believe that the influence of the younger energy, the younger understanding, of how things should be, or can be — or actually are, only you guys haven’t caught up with it yet — is powerful. I would say: Listen to the 20- to 30-year-olds.

HELEN MIRREN 

Salary disparity has also become a hot topic recently. What’s your take on it?
It’s such a complicated issue. How much money your last movie made, how many days you’ll spend doing the role. It’s not as simple as saying, “I want parity.” Of course, if there are a man and a woman on a set, and they’re doing the same number of days, and they’re of the same stature, then of course they should be paid the same.

And it’s a hard thing to talk about, too, because obviously you’re not going to get much sympathy from people, since we’re talking about pretty massive sums of money. Which I think is why women in general, rather sweetly, said, “I’ve got enough money, that’s fine.” Men didn’t.

I love the fact that women are speaking up. I thought what Jennifer Lawrence did was fabulous, and what Patricia Arquette did. They’re brave and I really approve of that. I certainly do believe that the influence of the younger energy, the younger understanding, of how things should be, or can be — or actually are, only you guys haven’t caught up with it yet — is powerful. I would say: Listen to the 20- to 30-year-olds.

LAVERNE COX At the Emmys this year, Jeffrey Tambor said he would not be unhappy if he were the last cisgender man to play a female transgender on TV and urged people to give trans actors chances. How did you feel about that? I loved it. I love Jeffrey. I love that he has embraced so much humanity but understands the political realities of what it means for a cis person to be playing a transgender part. And his is a really good example of how they needed an actor of a certain age who had not yet transitioned to play this part, and you maybe needed to cast someone cisgender. There are artistic concerns where we have to honor the intentions of the work. It’s a beautiful show, and what Jill [Soloway] has done insisting trans people work behind the scenes is wonderful.

LAVERNE COX

At the Emmys this year, Jeffrey Tambor said he would not be unhappy if he were the last cisgender man to play a female transgender on TV and urged people to give trans actors chances. How did you feel about that?

I loved it. I love Jeffrey. I love that he has embraced so much humanity but understands the political realities of what it means for a cis person to be playing a transgender part. And his is a really good example of how they needed an actor of a certain age who had not yet transitioned to play this part, and you maybe needed to cast someone cisgender. There are artistic concerns where we have to honor the intentions of the work. It’s a beautiful show, and what Jill [Soloway] has done insisting trans people work behind the scenes is wonderful.

MILEY CYRUS Why do you think inequality still exists for women in Hollywood? A lot of it could be changed if we had a female president. That would give us a subconscious boost. I think people will have to realize they’re looking really dated. For example, there’s a show called “Supergirl.” I think having a show with a gender attached to it is weird. One, it’s a woman on that fucking billboard — it’s not a little girl. Two, what if you’re a little boy who wants to be a girl so bad that this makes you feel bad? I think having a title like “Supergirl” doesn’t give the power that people think it does.

MILEY CYRUS

Why do you think inequality still exists for women in Hollywood?
A lot of it could be changed if we had a female president. That would give us a subconscious boost. I think people will have to realize they’re looking really dated. For example, there’s a show called “Supergirl.” I think having a show with a gender attached to it is weird. One, it’s a woman on that fucking billboard — it’s not a little girl. Two, what if you’re a little boy who wants to be a girl so bad that this makes you feel bad? I think having a title like “Supergirl” doesn’t give the power that people think it does.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON Growing up in New York, the actress relied on Planned Parenthood for regular checkups, she says. “I used them to screen me for STDs or take care of my reproductive health, as did all my girlfriends. When I was asked to represent their initiative, it was a no-brainer.” Planned Parenthood turns 100 this year, with 650 health centers across the U.S. that see 2.5 million patients a year for cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing, and breast exams. Johansson is a major advocate of such services. In 2012, she made Planned Parenthood and women’s health central themes of her speech at the Democratic National Convention. Two years later, she helped design T-shirts to boost voting in the midterm elections, and she has recorded an audio message that encourages listeners to enroll in less-expensive insurance options available through the Affordable Care Act.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON

Growing up in New York, the actress relied on Planned Parenthood for regular checkups, she says.

“I used them to screen me for STDs or take care of my reproductive health, as did all my girlfriends. When I was asked to represent their initiative, it was a no-brainer.”

Planned Parenthood turns 100 this year, with 650 health centers across the U.S. that see 2.5 million patients a year for cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing, and breast exams.

Johansson is a major advocate of such services. In 2012, she made Planned Parenthood and women’s health central themes of her speech at the Democratic National Convention. Two years later, she helped design T-shirts to boost voting in the midterm elections, and she has recorded an audio message that encourages listeners to enroll in less-expensive insurance options available through the Affordable Care Act.

VARIETY Magazine