Nia Vardalos on Hollywood Gender Equality
“[She] walked out of ‘The Boxtrolls’ and told the manager it was because there weren’t enough female characters in it,” the “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” star tells Variety. “We got our money back and spent it on candy. There’s a whole generation coming up that will demand change.”
The issue of Hollywood sexism has exploded in the last year with such stars as Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain speaking out. Women represent only a fraction of the directors, writers and studio executives, studies show. At the prompting of the ACLU, federal labor investigators are looking into the hiring practices of the studios, talent agencies and labor unions.
‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2’: Nia Vardalos Writes Strong Female Roles
As for Vardalos, “Instead of whining about it, I wrote the female roles with a lot of strength and depth — and knowing that Andrea Martin and Lainie Kazan could hit it out of the park,” Vardalos says of the sequel to the surprise 2002 hit. “Women have to write for each other; we have to hire each other.”
“The dearth of female roles is disgusting,” she continues. “Women are so many things. We’re sisters, mothers, wives. There are so many things we encompass. I wanted to write a movie for us too.”
The Kirk Jones-directed comedy, which costars John Corbett, hits theaters on March 25.