Jessica Lange & Other Hollywood Actresses: "I Don't Think We've Ever Seen This Much Misogyny, This Much Sexism"
The Hollywood Reporter's annual Drama Actress Roundtable brought six of Hollywood's biggest-name actresses together for an hour-long interview, and the results were...pretty grim. While the THR Roundtable usually provides a chance for actors to dish about industry gossip, this year's panelists—Jessica Lange, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Elisabeth Moss, Nicole Kidman and Chrissy Metz—shared a raw discussion about gender inequity, domestic abuse and sexual violence onscreen.
Jessica Lange, who stars as aging Hollywood actress Joan Crawford in FX's Feud, attributed the spate of industry sexism in part to the outcome of 2016 election, noting that the misogyny and ageism of 1960s Hollywood is "is just a microcosm of the greater atmosphere that we are all living through now."
Chrissy Metz, who has spoken out about the lack of body diversity in Hollywood, praised NBC'sThis Is Usfor jumpstarting her career while adding, "I would also love to do a project that is not about weight. So just a woman who happens to be going for a job interview or whatever."
The actresses discussed the emotional toll that performing scenes of sexual assault and abuse took on them, with Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks star Oprah Winfrey noting that she wished her long-running talk show had done more to spotlight the trauma that survivors of sexual abuse are forced to live with: "At the end of the show, I said it's the one message I think I failed at — allowing people to see the depth of the pain." Nicole Kidman recalled the anger and humiliation she felt while portraying a victim of domestic violence on HBO's Big Little Lies, recalling that after shooting one particularly intense scene of abuse, she went home and "threw a rock through a glass door."
Kidman's Big Little Lies co-star Reese Witherspoon pointed out the eerie familiarity of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale in a time of increasing political instability, noting, "I have been talking about [The Handmaid's Tale] ad infinitum at dinner parties because it feels possible. I mean, you're jogging and then you go in to buy a coffee and your credit card doesn't work anymore. It could be any one of us."
Elisabeth Moss, who stars in The Handmaid's Tale, cautioned viewers against binge-watching the show, saying, "You won't be able to get out of bed."
It's a true sign of the times when actors are cautioning you against bingeing their own shows for fear that you'll get too bummed out.