Anne Hathaway has been undergoing some good, hard self-reflection.
The “Les Miserables” Oscar-winner has been grappling with a realization that she has treated female directors with a kind of internalized misogyny, highlighting her work on 2011’s “One Day” with Danish director Lone Scherfig as a prime example.
“I am to this day scared that the reason I didn’t trust her the way I trust some of the other directors I work with is because she’s a woman,” Hathaway said during a recent interview. “I hope people understand that it’s hard to admit.”
Hathaway further admitted that this mindset has extended to how she considers potential projects with female directors.
“When I get a script, when I see a first film directed by a woman, I have in the past focused on what was wrong with it,” she said. “And when I see a first film directed by a man, I focus on what’s right with it. I focus on where he could go with the next one, and I focus on where she failed to go.”
Hathaway, for her part, is looking to make a change. “I can only acknowledge that I’ve done that and I don’t want to do that anymore,” she said. “I -- before I realized this -- had actively tried to work with female directors, and I still had this mindset buried in there somewhere.”
Her remarks are already sparking conversation. Rose McGowan chimed in on Facebook, candidly sharing her own experiences from working on her “Charmed” TV series with a female director.
“I’m ashamed to say I don’t remember her name, but I do remember the crew and others trying to sink her. On a show about women,” she wrote. “The strong female thing was a front for back office misogyny.”
“At the time, I was so deeply afraid of causing drama -- lest I end up fired like Shannen [Doherty] -- I didn’t speak up for her as I should have,” she continued. “It must’ve been a s**tty experience for her. I gave her my all in performance, but let her fight her own battle against everyone else. A battle the female director couldn’t win. On ‘Charmed’ they would hire literally almost anyone to direct so long as they had a penis.”
In the end, McGowan praised Hathaway for her candor.
“This is really important for us women and girls to look at and to unpack our inherent biases against others like us,” she wrote.