Jessica Chastain calls Cannes feminist protest ‘silly’

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, May 19, 2012 18:37 EDT
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U.S. actress Jessica Chastain, pictured here on May 16  (AFP)
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US actress Jessica Chastain, in Cannes for her role in a film vying for the top prize, said a controversy about the lack of female directors in the line-up for the Palme d’Or was pointless.

“I think it’s silly,” she told AFP in an interview. “I think a film should be judged on the film and not on the sex of the person who directed the film.”

Chastain, a love interest in John Hillcoat’s “Lawless” Prohibition-era gangster movie, noted that there were women on the Cannes prize jury and argued that the real problem was lack of females in the film industry in general.

Her co-star, Australian Mia Wasikowska, agreed that the Cannes polemic was overblown and that the problem should be looked at from an industry-wide angle.

“I think at the end of the day it’s about the best film,” she said.

More than a thousand women film-makers and others have signed a US petition in support of French feminists protesting the lack of female directors in the line-up for the Palme d’Or top prize at Cannes.

There are no female film-makers among the 22 competing for the Palme, which will be awarded on May 27, and just two among the 17 in its new talent section.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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