Carey Mulligan doesn’t want the women she portrays in film to be seen as inherently weak, and she’s taking a stand against all those “strong woman” labels.
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During an interview with Elle UK for their feminism issue, Mulligan explained that she doesn’t think women are equal yet in films despite all the hype around women’s roles. But labeling an on-screen woman as “strong” doesn’t help, in her opinion. It only serves to subvert others.
“You don’t say to men, ‘You played another really strong man,'” Mulligan said. “The idea that women are inherently weak and we’ve identified a few strong ones to tell stories about… is mad.
She added, “A lot of the stuff I read is playing so-and-so’s wife, so-and-so’s girlfriend. That’s not where the story is: I want to play him.”
Mulligan is far from the first lady in Hollywood to speak out about the availability of complex women’s roles. Shonda Rhimes recently had a roundtable discussion with Kerry Washington, Viola Davis and Ellen Pompeo in which the actresses lamented about the fact that they are rarely on the TV posters without a man by their side even though they lead the show.
Patricia Arquette also gave a poignant Oscars speech this year about equal pay for actresses. And just last month, George Clooney encouraged writers to rethink major roles in screenplays so that they could be played by either a man or a woman.
Mulligan was also sure to note that she doesn’t want to be in an industry dominated by women but, rather, it’s about equality. Something she thinks we’re still so far from achieving.
Check out Mulligan’s full interview in Elle UK‘s feminism issue, which hits stand tomorrow.