Jessica Chastain Reacts to the Portrayal of Women at Cannes

Jessica Chastain Reacts to the Portrayal of Women at Cannes

"It was quite disturbing to me to be honest.”

"It was quite disturbing to me to be honest.”

Text: Megan Kasselberg

At the conclusion of this year's Cannes Film Festival, Jessica Chastain, who served as a juror, used her influential platform to voice concerns about the troubling roles that women played on screen, throughout the event.

“This is the first time I’ve watched 20 films in 10 days,” she explained at a press conference,“I love movies, and the one thing I really took away from this experience is how the world views women, from the female characters that I saw represented,” she added, “and it was quite disturbing to me, to be honest.”

Chastain's comments follow in the wake of Sofia Coppola's win for the highly anticipated The Beguiled. Coppola is the second woman to take home "best director" in the 70 year history of Cannes, 56 years after Soviet filmmaker Yuliya Solntseva's 1961 award for Chronicle of Flaming Years. Jane Champion is the only woman to have ever scored the coveted Palme d’Or, back in 1993 for The Piano.

Fellow juror Fan Bingbing echoed Chastain's sentiments, saying of Coppola, “she did amazing work. We just want to advocate focusing on female filmmakers in the future." The Chinese actress and producer added, "I have to say she won this prize, not because she’s a female filmmaker, but because of the film itself.”

In the future, Chastain hopes to see the inclusion of “more female storytellers" and "the women that I recognize in my day-to-day life – ones that are proactive, have their own agencies, don’t just react to the men around them — they have their own point of view.” Chastain has previously advocated for equal pay in Hollywood, pointing out the wage gap between male and female leads, and the lack of female reviewers able to shape which films the public deems noteworthy. Check out some celebrity Twitter reactions to Chastain's heartfelt words below.

Credits: Photo via Media Punch Inc.

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