Trudie Styler slams the lack of opportunities for strong leading ladies in Hollywood as she reveals her plans to pave the way for women with her own production company
By CHARLIE LANKSTON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 19:50 EST, 14 December 2015 | UPDATED: 07:45 EST, 15 December 201
Actress and director Trudie Styler has spoken out against the lack of equal opportunities for women in Hollywood – while revealing her plans to ensure there are more leading ladies working within the film industry, both in front of, and behind the camera.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Mail Online from the set of her upcoming movie, Freak Show, the 61-year-old wife of rocker Sting, explained how she wants to give more women the chance to fight back against the overwhelming gender inequality in the entertainment industry.
‘When you run the statistics, 25 per cent only of producers are women and only five per cent of directors are women,’ Trudie, who fits into both categories, explained.
Making waves: Actress and director Trudie Styler, 61, has spoken out about the lack of leading roles and opportunities for women in Hollywood
The founders: Trudie (left) founded female-focused production company Maven Pictures four years ago, alongside her friend and business partner Celine Rattray (right)
But while Trudie may have defied the odds, there are still plenty of women who struggle to break out of the stereotypical roles that so many female actresses, directors and producers are restricted to.
And so Trudie teamed up with her friend and now-business partner Celine Rattray to launch Maven Pictures, a movie production company which focuses on projects that spotlight strong female characters, both on and off the screen.
‘We fight every day to give women the chance to be behind the camera and in front of the camera. Every project we have, we think, what woman could direct this?’ Celine explained to Daily Mail Online.
‘We have two movies in various stages of post production, and then two movies shooting right now and three of the four are being directed by women, and we’re very very proud of that fact because they really are not numbers that are aligned with the industry.’
Indeed, Trudie’s current directorial project, Freak Show, sees her working with the likes of acting icon Bette Midler, and teen stars Abigail Breslin and AnnaSophia Robb, all of whom she praises for their strong presence and personality – both on the screen and off.
Maven Pictures is also working on a project with Liv Tyler, Wildling, a chilling thriller which sees 38-year-old Liv taking on the lead role of a small-town sheriff.
‘In terms of the roles in front of the camera, we actively look for stories with great female lead roles and when we analyze scripts, we think are the women driving the story forward,’ Celine explained.
Strong partnership: Trudie has been married to musician Sting since 1992 and the couple have four children together, while Sting also has two kids from a previous marriage
‘And typically the scripts that you receive, the woman is the girlfriend or the confidant, or the person who says “No you shouldn’t do this.” So it’s usually the person preventing the action from moving forward and the male roles are the ones who are moving the story forward, but we try and look for the ones that have the great roles for women.’
And as far as Trudie is concerned, that’s just the beginning for both women – and their four-year-old company.
‘We want to build our platform; we’ve set out to create bigger and better opportunities for women in film, although it isn’t just exclusive to that,’ she said.
‘This year alone we have done three films, and then there was Still Alice at the end of last year, which saw Julianne Moore picking up the Oscar; we’re very proud to have been executive producers on that.
‘And that’s what we are going to do moving forward, we really have got a great slate of movies coming up, a great group of actresses that want to work with us.’
Indeed, both Trudie and Celine are so eager to find women with whom they can work, that they have started reaching out to actresses they ‘admire’ in order to see whether they have any projects that Maven Pictures can help them make a reality.
‘One of the things we have done is reach out to a lot of actresses that we really admire and asked them what projects they are really passionate about, and from that we’ve started working on lots of different things,’ Celine explained.
‘We’re developing a book with Amy Adams, and just finding material that actresses feel passionate about, and then we help them get those movies made.’
Screen star: Although Trudie now spends more time directing, she also boasts a very successful acting career, having starred in several feature-length films, including 2006 drama Alpha Male (pictured)
Where it all began: The actress got her big break when she starred in five episodes of the BBC’s hit series Poldark in the late 1970s (pictured)
Partner: Trudie’s partner Celine often sings the actress’ praises and noted that the two both have very different skill sets which perfectly complement each other within their company
And when it comes to nurturing a new generation of on-screen stars, Trudie, who first began acting back in the 1970s, and was launched into the spotlight when she landed a role in the BBC’s hit series Poldark, hopes to use her experience in front of the camera to help the actors she now directs to better understand their roles.
‘I always think that my first calling is as an actor, even though I’m now directing,’ she noted. ‘My skill set is looking at not just the story, but how it’s told by the actors.’
She added:Â ‘I’m at my most helpful I think when I’m guiding them through the process of imagining all of the emotional pulses and beats, and the arc of the story. Which I do through utilizing what my training ground is – acting.’
Certainly as far as her partner Celine is concerned, there can be nobody better for the job.
‘Trudie is someone who is such a pleasure to be with every day, she is so intelligent and so positive and productive and goal-orientated,’ she said of her friend.
‘And she manages to cut through everything and just get things done. She’s just so inspiring. And it’s really wonderful to get the chance to work with someone who you admire and respect, but also someone who makes you laugh all day long.
‘Making films is not always easy but Trudie makes every single moment so much fun.’
Trudie added: ‘We do laugh every day; we laugh even when the day has been rough. [When you are] making movies, there are a myriad of things that can go wrong but we usually end the day by having a good laugh, with even the things that have gone wrong.’