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  • (uptempo music)

  • - Hello, and welcome to Close Up

  • with the Hollywood Reporter Actresses.

  • I'm Matthew Belloni.

  • I'd like to welcome our guests today.

  • Saoirse Ronan.

  • Allison Janey.

  • Mary J Blige.

  • Emma Stone.

  • Jennifer Lawrence.

  • And, Jessica Chastain.

  • Let's get started.

  • Obviously the headlines in Hollywood this year

  • are incidents of alleged harassment

  • after incidents of alleged harassment in the industry.

  • Some people believe that the entertainment industry

  • will never be the same.

  • I'm curious about your thoughts on this

  • and whether all of these stories coming out

  • are going to lead to actual change,

  • and we'll start with Jessica.

  • - I hope the entertainment industry will never be the same.

  • I mean, if you look at Louis B Mayer and Fatty Arbuckle

  • and Jack Warner, you read Shirley Temple's book,

  • you find out what happened to her when she was a child,

  • there is a history of abuse against women in our industry,

  • and it's never been addressed,

  • and I think I'm devastated by all the stories

  • that have come out because its heartbreaking,

  • but at the same time I feel hopeful

  • because we're not ignoring it anymore.

  • It's painful for change, but it's needed.

  • It was needed many many years ago,

  • but what's coming out now there's abuses

  • not just in terms of gender, but there's so much

  • that needs to change about Hollywood,

  • and I think that the industry will become extinct

  • unless we show a more modern version

  • of the world that we're presented with.

  • - Do you feel a sense of vindication almost

  • that these stories are being told?

  • - Yeah, I think that the big misconception though

  • is that this is just in the entertainment industry.

  • I mean, once again the entertainment industry

  • is the stage at which you can see

  • the inner workings and the problems

  • that are all over the world.

  • The only reason why there's so much focus

  • on the entertainment industry

  • is because these people are famous.

  • If a flight attendant comes forward about a pilot

  • it doesn't end up in the news 'cause nobody knows about it.

  • That doesn't meant that there is less sexual abuse

  • going on anywhere else in the world,

  • in any other place of work,

  • but fortunately we're starting the conversation now.

  • - Do you agree with that,

  • or is there something specific about being an actress

  • where there is a power dynamic

  • and someone is in a position to make or break a career

  • and to exploit an actress in that way?

  • - Well, I think what she's referencing is definitely true.

  • We see these people.

  • Maybe they grab headlines in a different way,

  • or what we do grabs headlines in a different way,

  • but no, I think it's a pandemic.

  • It's through every industry.

  • There's a really amazing article that Brit Marling wrote

  • that was essentially saying if we were paid equally,

  • if women were paid equally in every industry

  • this would not be occurring.

  • I mean, this is something that women have to,

  • have had to fit into these different boxes

  • for so many years just to get work,

  • and if these things are happening,

  • and they bring them to people's attention

  • they're much more likely to be fired

  • or to be dismissed in any industry

  • than a man in a more powerful position,

  • so I think that it's a huge conversation

  • for our industry, certainly.

  • But, I would hope that this is only the tipping point

  • for every industry for us to discuss equal pay

  • for equal work for women across every industry

  • because that's been a change that we've needed

  • since the beginning of time and industry.

  • - Yeah.

  • (all laugh)

  • - Have these stories coming forward,

  • have they caused you to look at things

  • throughout your career maybe with a different light

  • and re-evaluate some of the interactions you may have had?

  • - I feel very fortunate that I've never experienced

  • any kind of harassment at all.

  • The only reason why I can think that is

  • I'm you know, five-foot-15,

  • and my career didn't start until later, 38,

  • and my life was started in the theater.

  • I didn't experience this, and yet I was always aware

  • of the casting couch.

  • That was just something that I thought

  • women had to navigate growing up in the business.

  • Or, I thought, "Well, someday I'll probably have to do that,

  • "but I know how I would."

  • I always felt prepared in my mind

  • if that were to occur what I would do,

  • but it's exciting to think of a time

  • where kids growing up won't know what that is,

  • that that will be a thing of the past,

  • and there won't be any more abuse of power.

  • That's the most upsetting thing to me

  • is people who abuse their positions,

  • people that people look up to,

  • artists who are revered, and of course young people

  • coming in are gonna look to them.

  • It's just one of the worst crimes I think

  • to abuse your influence and power in a negative way,

  • and it's exciting to think of our culture changing,

  • and it's high time.

  • - Have any of the stories that have come out

  • been especially resonant to you as an actress

  • who has grown up, essentially, in the industry?

  • - Yeah, I mean I have to say

  • that for me I was the same as Allison.

  • I've never experienced that.

  • I think I was very lucky that I was protected

  • from a lot of that.

  • I never was really exposed to what went on at parties.

  • I was never left on my own with anyone.

  • My mom and dad were always around,

  • so I was very protected in that way.

  • I mean, every story that's come out

  • has so much gravity to it, has so much weight to it,

  • and I think it would be wrong to escalate

  • one over the other, but I think just because

  • you can actually hear it happening.

  • The one with that Italian, was she an actress?

  • - She was a model and actress.

  • - [Saoirse] She was a model, actress.

  • - The Harvey Weinstein story.

  • - And, what was incredible about it

  • was that she was brave enough to go back the next day

  • because she knew that this was important

  • for this to come out, and the fact that she put herself

  • in that position again and made herself so vulnerable,

  • and still nothing was done about it.

  • - Yeah.

  • - And, that's the really disappointing thing

  • about all of this.

  • They've had all of this shit basically

  • on all of these men and women for the last few years,

  • but they haven't done anything with it.

  • It's just been swept under the carpet.

  • - Do you think that the culture will change?

  • Perhaps people will be less inclined to do these things

  • because of fear, but do you think the culture

  • of the leverage of power and culture of abuse will change?

  • - I hope eventually.

  • I think it's gonna be a while.

  • I think it's so deeply ingrained, unfortunately, socially.

  • I don't even know.

  • If you think about mothers with their sons,

  • obviously it's not coming from their parents.

  • It's this social proof of some way of your masculinity,

  • and also what Emma was saying is so true

  • that until we're equal in every way

  • then how can you expect us to be respected verbally

  • if we're not being respected in every other way?

  • - Yeah, whenever you have one demographic

  • that's in charge of the livelihood of another

  • you're gonna have abuses of power.

  • I mean, for me, I'm really interested

  • in your point of view on this

  • in terms of coming into the industry,

  • being in music, now being in film.

  • - In the industry, like her, I never had that problem.

  • I was always a tomboy and one of the guys,

  • and I feel really sad for the women,

  • but I'm happy that they're free.

  • Everyone that's coming out, I'm happy that they're free

  • because they had to hold onto a secret

  • that they ma have seen shrinks for

  • for years and years and years, so I'm just happy for them,

  • and I believe that things will change

  • because this is making other women say,

  • "Me too, me too, me too," and that's why it just

  • keeps happening every day, every day

  • because people are tired of sitting around

  • with that secret and that thing that holds them prisoner,

  • so I think it will change things

  • because people don't want to be in bondage anymore,

  • women anyway.

  • Women have been going through this

  • since they were children, you know?

  • As a child I went through it

  • all the way up until adulthood,

  • but when I got in the music business I never had it

  • because I went through so much of it in childhood.

  • - You said you were a tomboy.

  • Do you think you made that decision

  • to shield yourself from it?

  • - I did because I've been through so much as a child

  • and a teenager.

  • Not that I was a guy, I just wore baggier jeans

  • and Timberlands and hat turned backwards,

  • so I won't be so revealing.

  • It took me a very long time to even

  • wear makeup and tight clothes

  • because I had been through so much,

  • and that that I've been through has been a secret.

  • I exposed it on Oprah, but there's so much more

  • that people don't know, so like I said

  • I'm happy that these women are hopefully free

  • because it hurts, and you have to go through this,

  • women all over the world, like she said.

  • - That's another thing as well

  • is that these people who went through it

  • then had to get up the next day and still go to work,

  • or they've had to see these men for years

  • and shake their hand and take photographs with them

  • or get on a flight and work with them, whatever it is.

  • I mean, imagine how much strength that would have taken

  • to do that every day.

  • - Because I'm someone who holds a lot

  • and gets really nervous to speak a lot of the time,

  • we have to also recognize that there are so many women

  • who haven't told their stories yet,

  • who aren't comfortable to share,

  • and this is a deeply, and I know this

  • is a very millennial word, but it's a very triggering time

  • for a lot of women too to see these stories

  • come out one after the other

  • whether they have stories to share or not

  • about assault or harassment.

  • It's a very difficult thing to watch.

  • I also want to say for women

  • I feel so much compassion for those

  • who haven't shared their stories yet,

  • who are still getting up and going to work every day,

  • they're with their abuser, or have had abuse in their past,

  • and who are not ready to say anything.

  • I think that putting pressure on women to share it,

  • if you're not saying it now then you're complicit

  • in this evil that's occurring isn't fair also.

  • I think we need to have a lot of compassion

  • and patience that more and more stories might come out

  • in a slow way and in a way that feels comfortable

  • to people who have been victims of this kind of trauma.

  • - It's interesting.

  • We haven't seen as many people in the music industry

  • come forward as in the film and TV industry,