Top Hollywood actors rarely work with female directors, if at all: report

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio looks on during the 22nd Annual Crystal Awards at the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Jan. 19, 2016.

More than 40 heads of states and governments attend the WEF in Davos, which this year is focused on "Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

Much has been made about the lack of opportunities in Hollywood for female directors -- with just two of the top 100 grossing films of 2014 directed by women -- but one new study suggests a previously unexamined link that could be helping perpetuate this problem.

Male movie stars continue to be one of the most influential segments of the Hollywood landscape, but a surprising number of leading men have spent little to no time working with female directors, according to research done by Cosmopolitan.com.

The site's editors rounded up the resumes of the top-grossing 100 leading men in Hollywood and simply counted how many times they'd acted in films directed by women. "We counted only films released by publication time, and included bit parts, tiny roles and animated voices -- anything except un-credited cameos," the editors explained.

The results, it turns out, are pretty galling. No fewer than 20 of the top male actors in Hollywood have never worked with a female director, and 21 of the actors have only worked with a female director once, and two of those include Will Smith and Hugh Jackman, who only made the cut by doing voice roles in animated films with female co-directors -- "Shark Tale" and "Happy Feet," respectively.

Actors who have never worked with a female director:

Sean Connery, Sylvester Stallone, Ben Stiller, Jon Voight, Matt Damon, Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Redford, Jeffrey Wright, Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey, Jonah Hill, Jamie Foxx, Dwayne Johnson, Orlando Bloom, Tobey Maguire, Karl Urban, Vin Diesel, Daniel Radcliffe and Chris Hemsworth.

Actors who have only worked with a female director once:

Christopher Walken, Nicholas Cage, Anthony Hopkins, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Nicholson, Bill Murray, Harrison Ford, Owen Wilson, Brad Pitt, Michael Douglas, Josh Brolin, Matthew McConaughey, Mark Wahlberg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Daniel Craig, Hugh Jackman, Shia LaBeouf, Will Smith, Tim Allen, Tyrese Gibson and Robert Pattinson.

And while Leonardo DiCaprio has actually worked with female directors three separate times, he hasn't worked with one in two decades.