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Jessica Chastain Rips Into Sexist Casting With “Every Audition Ever” Skit on Jimmy Fallon

"Try it again, but hot"

Look at you, Jimmy Fallon! You can get political, and it’ll still be funny!

When Jessica Chastain appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night, they put together a skit which mocked the way that actresses are asked to sex up their delivery of even the simplest lines, as well as the way that male directors and writers can treat “hotness” as the primary personality trait of their female characters.

The notes she gets here are just hilarious and way too real. After she reads her simple lines – “Hi, my name’s Angela. It’s nice to meet you.” – the casting director, played by Fallon, pipes in with absurd suggestions that capture all the cinema stereotypes for women.

“That was great. Could you try it again, but, uh … hot?”

“This time, can you try it sweet and modest … but also hot? And can you be younger?”

“Try it like you’re a spicy little peppermint! With a secret.”

“A little less hot this time. More sexy.

“Like a Girlboss, but pouting, but sleeping, but also you love him.”

“Murdered, but hot.”

Not only did this skit make me giggle, but it feels particularly relevant. As we talk about ways to address the systemic sexism of Hollywood, we have to recognize that the portrayal of women on-screen, and the quality of roles available to actresses, play a huge part in establishing Hollywood power dynamics. Misogynist writing normalizes a view of women as bodies to consume, and women who are consigned to uninteresting, “sexy lampshade” roles are never going to get recognition from the industry, and will never be able to wield the same power as their male counterparts. (Remember Princess’s piece on Megan Fox?)

Plus, I’m here for any comedy that points out how truly absurd the writing for female characters can be. Women are people, and movies and TV shows have to start treating them that way.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter; image via screengrab)

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