When Bridesmaids came out in 2011, Hollywood seemed taken by surprise at its immediate success both critically and at the box office. The comedy, directed by Paul Feig, became this bizarre item of evidence that women actually go to the movies, as had the Sex and the City movie in 2008. Since then Feig has helmed buddy cop flick The Heat, turned Melissa McCarthy into a bonafide action hero in Spy (out today), and been announced as the director behind the all-female Ghostbusters remake. Though he’s often touted as the great hope for women-centric projects, Feig is more interested, he says, in creating nuanced, interesting, and realistic characters onscreen. (That said, it doesn’t hurt that the female characters in Spy kick just a little more ass than the men.) We spoke with Feig at a recent press day for Spy in LA about the state of gender equality in Hollywood and why we shouldn’t celebrate the baby steps the industry is taking.
You’ve become the spokesperson for why Hollywood should make movies about women. How does that feel?
I’m thrilled if I’m bringing any kind of awareness to it. Then again it’s silly that we’re still having this conversation, that we have to even talk about it. But it’s Hollywood’s fault that it’s happened because they’ve made it into a thing. The fact that everybody is celebrating like, ‘Oh, there are four movies out this summer with women!’ Well, okay. Are we patting ourselves on the back? I’m happy that it’s happening because we’re breaking through, but why should we have to break through in 2015?…
Read the rest of this interview on Elle.