George Clooney Is A-Ok With Ladies Taking Dudes’ Roles

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At the Toronto International Film Fest this weekend, Amal Alamuddin’s husband revealed that he was originally set to play the lead role in the upcoming Our Brand Is Crisis, but decided with co-producer Sandra Bullock that she should take on the part instead.

Following the movie’s premiere at TIFF, Clooney explained “The minute she called and said she wanted to play the role that had been written as a man […] There’s a lot more out there if people just started thinking.” The actor later elaborated to ET,

You’ll see this happening a lot, where they talk about there aren’t a lot of great roles for women. The truth of the matter is there are plenty of these films where you can stop and look and just change the gender and make a really interesting film. So we need to start thinking that way.

Bullock explained to Entertainment Weekly back in April that the decision came after she spent time unsuccessfully searching for an exciting female character: “About two and a half years ago I put out feelers saying, ‘I’m not reading anything I’m excited about. Are there any male roles out there that [the filmmakers] don’t mind switching to female?’”

Although I am always so down for scripts that don’t assign a gender to characters (or scripts that gender-swap a preexisting role), I also think that as the conversation about media representation continues to grow, it’s important to still note the lack of original content written specifically for women.

As Helen Mirren has pointed out, gender-swapping is an important tool for women in film (particularly women over the age of 30, aka 3,000,000 in Hollywood years), but it’s a short term solution. Lack of interesting female characters is indicative of the lack of women working in the film industry overall; as we address the symptoms of sexism, it’s important to continue to aggressively call out the cause.

Hopefully as creators follow Our Brand Is Crisis‘ example and audiences demonstrate a desire for more unconventional gender norms and female leads, Hollywood will be inspired to diversify its talent pool a little further.

Thoughts?

(via Jezebel)

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