Amber Heard graces the cover of Elle Magazine this month. The actress took the opportunity to talk about a topic that so many of her colleagues are shouting from the rooftops: the dearth of good roles for female characters.
“I get a stack of scripts, like, once a month,” Amber Heard said, “and most of the time, you find these placeholder girls that are there to provide a bounce for the male character. So we know he’s funny because she’s serious and she’s mad at him. We know he’s strong because she needs saving. So really her job is to validate this personality trait of our hero or male. I mean we’re trying to imitate life, and it seems to me a deeply saddening injustice that we are so uncreative and uninterested in developing representations of female life.”
Amber Heard is not alone in her fight with this issue. At the most recent Cannes Festival, Salma Hayek spoke out about the same line of argument.
Hayek took on the stereotypes that Hollywood perpetuated about women in films.
“For a long time they thought the only thing we were interested in seeing were romantic comedies,” said Hayek. “They don’t see us as a powerful economic force, which is an incredible ignorance.”
Parker Posey joined in the fray, backing up Slma Hayek by saying, “We’re in very masculine times. We’re at war. The culture is eating nature, it’s overpowering storytelling.” She noted that movies in the 1940s were better at portraying strong women than Hollywood is now. She notes that female characters in those older films were witty and three-dimensional. “It’s so rare that I see that in movies now.”
Hayek was recently awarded the Decade of Hotness Award at the Spike’s 2015 Guys Choice Awards. She was thrilled to get eh award, saying, “When you start you’re like, ‘No, I want them to see me for my talent, and know me as an actress. Now?! They want to give me a decade of hotness – I’m like, ‘Bring it on!’ You really like to be ‘hot’ after you’re 40.”
As for Amber Heard, she is not ready to be valued only for her looks.
“I feel like I’m constantly fighting against my exterior,” Heard said, “or this exterior presentation of myself because of how I look or perhaps because of who I’m with.”
I suppose there is room for variance on any side of an issue.