Hollywood’s women hope gender gap closes in next 30 years

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Dubai, April 6 (IANS) Women empowerment and portrayal of female characters in films and TV shows was the talking point at the ongoing Middle East Film & Comic Con 2018 here on Friday, with actors like Molly Parker and Mina Sundwall saying a role is a role irrespective of gender.

Parker, known for picking strong female characters in “House of Cards”, “Deadwood” and the latest Netflix series “Lost in Space”, hopes that in next 30 years there is no discussion around how rare it is to find a strong woman in a film or a TV show.

“One of the things that attracted me to the re-imagination of the show was that the women and girls are so strong and complicated characters,” Parker said in context of “Lost In Spacea, a reboot of the 1960s’ classic science fiction series.

“I like that the show takes 30 years in the future and the presence of strong female characters is a given. Nobody is talking about it. It is assumed and accepted that the women can do anything that the men can do.”

To this, Sundwall, who plays the role of Penny in the show, added: “We don’t talk about who is doing what. There are life and death situations in the show and it doesn’t matter who is solving it — whether it is a man or a woman, until the thing is done.

“We don’t have a female doctor or a female scientist. We just have a doctor and scientist, and they are women but it has never been questioned.”

Along with putting women in powerful positions in the narrative of the show, “Lost in Space” makers have gender-swapped Dr. Smith’s character. It was played by Jonathan Harris in the original, but in the new version actress Parker Posey has took on the role of the doctor.

“I hope that in the next 30 years, we don’t have to talk that it is rare that there are strong women in films and TV,” said Parker.

Sundwall asserted that adding strong women characters in the show was not a forced decision, but very organic.

“We didn’t go around thinking like ‘Oh we are making this about female empowerment’. It was because it feels normal and natural…It is what we all are pitching for. I am honoured to be a part of this movement as a young female person.”

Amid the discussion on gender gap, voice-over artist Robbie Daymond took the spotlight on diversity.

“There is no race, no colour or anything in the voice-over industry…We are doing the original colour blinding casting,” said the artiste, who has voiced for a slew of character including Spider Man.

They were joined by Ezra Miller, Karl Urban, Kristian Nairn, Toby Stephens, Taylor Russell and Max Jenkins for the press conference.

(Sugandha Rawal is in Dubai at the invitation of Netflix. She can be contacted at [email protected])



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