Dorri Olds: In 2008 you said that it was hard to get women’s stories made. Do you still feel that way?
Joan Carr-Wiggin: Yes, it’s hard to get them made and hard to find a wide audience. Hollywood is such a sexist industry.
More sexist than other industries?
The film industry is more sexist than most, it’s bigoted and unfortunately there’s no educational requirement to get into it.
Are you saying the film industry is filled with ignorance?
Yes, not only is it sexist, it’s also bigoted against older people, non-whites — basically any group that isn’t rich, white and male.
What are examples of sexism in the industry?
In almost every film that features an older woman, the topic is about an older woman. That is not so for aging men. When George Clooney stars in a movie, the plot is not centered on the fact that he’s a middle-aged man. It kills me that even if women are 50 they’re considered old. Why was there never a sequel to “The First Wives Club”?
What did you think of the success of “Marigold Hotel”?
That was huge. It was progress.
Did you like “Zero Dark Thirty”?
Yes! It’s one helluva movie and a feminist film.
Were you bothered that the Academy Awards dissed Kathryn Bigelow this year?
Yes, I mean I understand the torture scenes were part of the issue and people questioned what was true but “Argo” had many things in it that weren’t true at all. The attack on Bigelow has been so unfair.
Would you like to see more female directors?
Yes, so many people say women can’t handle directing.
Who says that?
The LA Times, the NY Times have both written articles saying women are more likely to be editors than writers or directors because women are more sensitive. Men start these myths but then women internalize them and become fearful. As a society, we have to examine more deeply why only rich white males are in control. There are so many times hot babes play the romantic interest with schlubby-looking guys who are 20 years older. Steve Carell and Keira Knightley were a bad pairing.
Do you feel like it’s a disadvantage that “If I Were You” doesn’t have a big Hollywood studio behind it?
There are less open minds in Hollywood. I used to be an economist and can see the advantage of our movie having more routes of distribution digitally and not through the Hollywood machine. This movie has never even touched that Hollywood machine. They have no interest in us and we're not interested in them. This movie will be available in 100 million homes through cable, iTunes and Amazon. You know, when I found out you’d be interviewing me, I Googled you and found your article in the New York Times. There needs to be more courageous articles like yours. Women need to keep pushing through the wall, do the work, and tell the message. It can be really hard for women to keep going through the many barriers.
Anne Hathaway has often said she likes her curves, then she lost all that weight for Les Miz but, at the Oscars, it was clear she never put the weight back on. Did that bother you?
I hate that women are supposed to be so skinny. If an actress puts on one pound people say she must be pregnant. Young girls are getting that message all the time. As for Anne Hathaway and other actresses in the tabloids, why are we even clicking on these pictures? Women have to be perfect and perfect doesn’t exist. It’s heartbreaking to see so many young actresses who are great and work so hard and their weight always becomes such an issue.