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Add Elysium‘s Secretary Delacourt to the List of Characters Written for Men and Played by Women

Gender Bendery

Jodie Foster and Neill Blomkamp talked to Entertainment Weekly recently about the process of getting the much celebrated actress onto the production of Blomkamp’s first return to the director’s chair since District 9. As it turns out, even though both of them would have loved to work with the other, it almost didn’t happen because her character was originally written to be male.

From EW:

Her role was created as Secretary Rhodes, who was male. But then Blomkamp woke up one morning and it suddenly occurred to him the character could be a woman. He and one of his producers, Simon Kinberg, drew up a list of potential actresses, and Foster’s name was on it, but the director thought she would never do it. “I thought, ‘That would be f—ing awesome, but there’s just no way,” he says.

It’s great that, as a young male director whose debut feature gave him a lot of Hollywood leeway to do whatever he wants next, Blomkamp decided that one of the things he’d do is put at least one prominent lady in his next blockbuster sci-fi flick. I mean, in a perfect world, it’d also be great if the movie had enough female characters that I didn’t have to go check a trailer to make sure there were any other non-minor women in the film other than Jodie Foster (there’s at least one). Either way, Elysium still has the potential to live up to the standard Blomkamp set when District 9 left me speechless.

And fortunately for Blomkamp, District 9 also left Foster so impressed that she made up her mind to try to work with him as soon as he returned to the world of feature film. Naturally, she jumped at the opportunity to play a major role in Elysium, putting Secretary Rhodes on the list of recent female characters originally intended to be male alongside Dory, Evelyn Salt, and Toph.

(via Entertainment Weekly.)

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