Thought all that sexism in Hollywood stuff was confined to gender pay gaps, lack of leading roles for women and aesthetic scrutiny? According to ‘Game Of Thrones’ actress Lena Headey, that’s not all – you’ve forgotten the flagrant sexual harassment young female thesps face even during the audition stages.
Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister in the HBO series, was interviewed by her co-star Maisie Williams in an interview for Net-A-Porter’s magazine The Edit.
“When I was in my twenties, and doing a lot of audition tapes in the States, a casting director told me: ‘The men take these tapes home and watch them and say, ‘Who would you f***?’”
Now 43, however, Headey says her personal situation has improved.
“I’m happier now I’m older, playing women who aren’t expected to be beautiful,” she said. “That pressure has gone for me. [Male] actors can be ‘interesting’, but there’s a real pressure on women to be beautiful and skinny.”
However, there are some particularly gruelling aspects of the male-dominated industry she, as a woman, still finds difficult to deal with.
“I was talking about this with another actress,” she continued. “And I said, ‘Do you find that you have to say the same things seven times, whereas a man says it once and everyone listens?’ Male counterparts can say the same thing [I just did] and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, that’s a great idea,’ and I’m like, ‘I just said that 19 times but you chose not to listen or take it on board.’”
She added she was “very happy” to have lost out on roles for refusing to play the “flirting” game during auditions.
We’re pretty appalled – but far from surprised.