Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles (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.