Heather Graham: Hollywood ‘totally sexist,’ 80% of films about men

Heather Graham discusses sexism in Hollywood during a recent Q&A in Esquire magazine.
(Andy Kropa / Invision/Associated Press )

Heather Graham — she of Rollergirl fame — is the latest actress to call out Hollywood on its sexism.

“Girls” wunderkind Lena Dunham and Oscar winner Cate Blanchett have also made statements on the topic of sexism recently, with the former addressing it in a SXSW panel and the latter bringing it up during her Oscars acceptance speech in March.

The “Boogie Nights” star made her fiery statements during a recent Q&A with Esquire magazine that surveyed the actress’ characters as of late — roles that cast her as the perennial “sexy mother” in films such as “The Hangover” trilogy (she was in the first and third installments), her 2011 film “Judy Moody,” “Goodbye to All That” and May’s “Petals on the Wind.” In the final season of “Californication,” she plays David Duchovny’s sex-addicted character’s baby mama.

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“I’m just glad to be working. I’m not actually a mom in real life, so it’s fun to pretend to be one,” the actress said. “I like to approach things the same in art as in life. You can choose to look on the positive side and enjoy whatever roles you’re given. You can find the silver lining in anything.”

But then the 44-year-old gave context to her comments after her interviewer characterized what she’d said as “the most optimistic thing” he’d ever heard about Hollywood.

“I’m not saying the movie business isn’t sexist,” she continued. “It’s totally sexist. If you look at all the movies being made these days, 80 percent of them are about men.”

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Graham said she’s resigned to it.

“There’s not much I can do about it,” she said. “It’s a sexist world and a sexist industry. But I’ve been very lucky as an actress, to work as much as I have and as consistently as I have. And when you don’t see the kind of stories out there that represent you, you have to make them yourself.”

And that’s why she’s taking matters into her own hands and throwing her hat in the ring by writing a female-driven film about “sex from the female point of view.” The actress said she’s casting for it now and hopes to star in it and direct.

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“I don’t see anything in film about women who want to have sex. I don’t see myself and my friends represented. When do you ever get to see a movie from the point of view of a woman who’s more interested in having really great orgasms than finding a husband? I would say almost never.”

And with that, the subject and interviewer had a long riff on female sexual gratification.


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