It appears that more and more actors are diving into passion projects, having their own movies made where they are either the star, the writer, the director, the producer and sometimes even all of the above.
These passion projects are often a breath of fresh air as Hollywood currently seems to be obsessed with making mediocre reboots.
Examples of such passion projects include Jason Bateman’s Netflix TV series Ozark, Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born (2018), Jonah Hill’s Mid90s (2018), as well as John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place (2018). All of these projects have experienced success and praise, and have seemed to prove that actors can also make great directors and writers.
While it appears that there are plenty of male actors churning out such projects, upon first glance it doesn’t seem like there are as many females doing the same. This is until you dig a little deeper to see that there are many great actresses out there who are doing their thing, paving the way for more women to do the same.
With men dominating films since the birth of cinema, it feels incredibly important that more people are aware of such female passion projects. And so, here are a couple of examples of works that were put together with the help of acclaimed Hollywood actresses.
Wild (2014) – Reece Witherspoon
Based on the memoir ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed, this 2014 film follows the story of a woman who strives to find herself by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. The film quickly garnered critical acclaim and even received a few Oscar nods. What some may not know, however, is that this flick starring Reece Witherspoon was also made by her company Pacific Standard.
Witherspoon’s company focuses on female-led projects with additional works such as TV’s Big Little Lies and Gone Girl (2014). With so little roles out there for aging actresses, it seems that Witherspoon’s company is addressing the issue, and smashing through some of the old Hollywood standards. With so many great works already under the company’s belt, it is certainly exciting to see what they will do next.
I, Tonya (2017) – Margot Robbie
With Robbie mainly starring in flicks such as Suicide Squad (2016) and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) as the blonde bombshell, audiences were curious to see her star in something a little different. I, Tonya follows the events of figure skating legend Tonya Harding, who gets caught up in a scandal when one of her competitors is hit in the leg with a police baton.
Robbie not only delivers a meaty performance in this flick but her company LuckyChap Entertainment also produced it. With other gritty projects in development, it would seem that this production company, as well as Robbie, are not slowing down any time soon.
While this post has only explored a couple of examples, there are plenty of other actresses out there doing their part. This ranges from Geena Davis starting her own film festival to Angelina Jolie directing and writing First They Killed My Father (2017). If audiences put aside the time to research and watch such projects, perhaps Hollywood will be a much different place in just a few years time.
Deserted Island Movie Collection: Since I would have a lot of time to kill, I would bring all of John Ford’s movies (there are over 140 after all).
Best Movie Snack: Love a good cheese platter.