By Sugandha Rawal
There was a time when actresses were told their career would be over at 40 in Hollywood, but not anymore. The Loudest Voice star Naomi Watts feels a lot has changed for women in the industry.
Actors are often under pressure to look a certain way which is deemed important to sell their image. But has the pressure changed for women over all these years?
“I think that has always been there, definitely. And you know, there was a time when we were told that come the age of 40, it was all over...and that has changed,” Watts said during The Loudest Voice press conference call.
“In terms of being told that we have to look good, I think we want to look good, but we want to be taken seriously and there’s no reason that the two things can’t co-exist.
“For the red carpet, yes, I want to look my absolute best and I use professional help to create something that looks good, but it has not been so because I’ve been instructed to. I make that choice myself. I’m in charge of the decision making as to how I present myself,” added the 50-year-old.
Her resume is a testament to her versatility, her chameleon-like quality to get into the skin of any character and how to avoid being typecast.
With two Oscar nominations, her work profile shines with box-office hits like King Kong, The Ring, The Divergent series, and roles in critically acclaimed films like Birdman, Mulholland Drive and 21 Grams.
Now, she will be seen living the life of journalist Gretchen Carlson in Showtime limited series The Loudest Voice, which dramatises the rise and fall of Carlson’s former boss, Fox News creator Roger Ailes (essayed by Russell Crowe).
The show spotlights Ailes’ history of sexual abuse, and Carlson’s landmark sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes that led to his ouster.
Watts says the #MeToo movement has ushered in a “really powerful change”.
“I would say there has been a significant change and not necessarily one that I thought I would witness in such a dramatic way... I hoped it would happen over time, but I’ve seen a really powerful change happening in front of the camera, and behind the camera in the last couple of years. And that’s the heartening side of this story,” she said.
The mother of two continued: “Out of the # movement, has come the Time’s Up movement and voices are being heard, and that’s just very encouraging. It was time. It was absolute... I’ve seen female-driven stories now getting financed which they weren’t before.
“I’ve seen female directors — more female directors being hired and the same goes for writers and other technicians in our industry. That’s the good part of this story that’s come to light.”
But there is a heartbreaking side to it as well.
“We’re sitting here listening to these awful stories that took place over such a long time, but now the space has been made to listen and for change to take place.”
The actress, who will soon enter the Game Of Thrones universe with its prequel, hopes The Loudest Voice to be a story of female empowerment.
“I hope that this is a story of female empowerment, that women can feel encouraged by the fact that it’s good to stand up for yourself, and that voices are now being heard and room is being made as a result to change things in all industries.”
Hemsworth just want to stay at home with kids
Chris Hemsworth feels he has spent his whole career chasing one thing after another, and now wants to live in the moment. The actor has decided not to shoot anything more this year, and says he wants to step back to spend some quality time with his three children in Australia.
After steering projects like Home and Away and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, Hemsworth scored his big break in 2011 with film Thor, embarking on the journey of becoming one of the biggest and bankable movie stars in the world.
“I have spent so many years... I think my whole career, kind of looking so far ahead and chasing that world. (Thinking I should go for) this thing and that thing and (thinking) if I get this job, and maybe this is it,” Hemsworth told IANS while looking back at the time when he started his journey in showbiz.
The constant rush, he says, can be; for one, exhausting and two, “you are never in the moment enjoying the process”.
“I am trying to just be more present. And that gives me greater sense of comfort and not out of ‘Oh, I have made it. I can sit back and rest’. It is more of just appreciating and enjoying it now,” Hemsworth added.
The tall and handsome actor wants to take a moment to appreciate things in his life, but doesn’t want to take things for granted.
“You don’t want to get comfortable in the sense that you are sitting back and taking it for granted and thinking ‘That’s it, I have made it’... Unless, you are quite okay with not working in and just be where you are,” Hemsworth said when asked whether he is getting comfortable with his position in Hollywood.
“I do feel more comfortable now and not out of thinking because ‘I have made it’... If you would have asked me 10 years ago about what my dream scenario with career in life would be, this will be it.
“I am really sort of trying to appreciate this experience in this moment now,” added the actor, who will soon be seen in Sony Pictures’ project Men in Black: International.
Is it easy to stay in the moment or easier said than done?
“It is tricky.”
But a day during the busy press tour helped the 35-year-old take a decision.
“I was just on the Avengers: Endgame press tour, and I was reading scripts for another job and talking about the next thing. And I was like ‘This is crazy. One of the biggest film of all time is releasing and I am already thinking about something else’. I had to say, ‘I don’t want to talk about it for few weeks’.”
He has made up his mind now — well, almost.
“This year, I will probably won’t shoot anything. I have shot Dhaka at the start of the year. I just want to be at home now with my kids. They are at a very important age. They are still young at the moment. And they are aware when I leave more than before.
“And I am like, if there is ever a chance where I could stop and just be at home, this is it. So I am just going to enjoy that for the moment, and see what happens,” he said with a chuckle and a gleam in his eyes as he spoke about his family.
Hemsworth is married to Elsa Pataky, and has a daughter named India Rose and twin sons Sasha and Tristan.
For now, Hemsworth, who has featured in projects like Ghostbusters and Snow White and the Huntsman, is happy to be associated with the legacy of Men In Black.
Men in Black: International will take place in the same universe as the previous trilogy with Emma Thompson back as Agent O. Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson portray the new agents dealing with aliens. The plot centres on a mole in the Men in Black organisation. Hemsworth just want to stay at home with kids
Sony Pictures Entertainment India will release Men In Black: International in India on June 14 in Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu. — IANS
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