Which actress gave your favorite performance this year?
2022 was an interesting and important year for movies. In a world trying to shake off COVID-19 and get back to the theater, we had blockbusters, indies, and all sorts of titles aimed at connecting with people.
There were movies about loss, triumphs, and family.
The Hollywood Reporter assembled a fantastic roundtable of some of the best actresses, including Jennifer Lawrence (Causeway), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans), Claire Foy (Women Talking), Emma Corrin (Lady Chatterley's Lover), and Danielle Deadwyler (Till) sat down to talk about the industry, working with different gender directors, and the craft.
There are so many lessons and amazing anecdotes inside.
Take a look.
Advice We Took Away from the Actress's Roundtable
Hearing these amazing actresses bond and share anecdotes were interesting. The conversation started with the actress talking about booking roles. As anyone in Hollywood knows, no one gets handed roles.
It is interesting to hear these women talk about advocating for themselves to get noticed and to book things. That's hard enough, and then you have to hope the role meets your needs.
Be Bold and Ask Questions
Michelle Yeoh told a story about being cast in Sunshine, saying, "A lot of the times I get the script, and it’s not written for a woman like me. I remember doing Sunshine with Danny Boyle. It’s a story about astronauts going to the sun, [and] trying to save us."
"When I first received the script, it was written for a man to start off with, so that was already such a joy that Danny thought, 'Well, I would change it for you,'” Yeoh said. "Then, at that point, I said to him, 'Why do you think, at that time, it’s still the Russians and the Americans going to space? Wouldn’t you have more Japanese [and] Chinese?' It takes a director with great confidence in who they are and their vision, and he changed it. We had Hiroyuki Sanada, Benedict Wong, and myself. That’s the time when you think, 'Can I make that bold step?”'Because the next thing they’ll be like, 'OK, bye. Thank you, but no thank you.'"
Put Yourself Out There
For Till, Danielle Deadwyler sent in an audition tape. Putting yourself on tape is something all actors experience sometime in their life. It can feel impersonal and hard to connect.
Deadwyler said, "I’ve done a movie with my son before, and so he just lends me his skills here and there. That was easy. That was lighthearted. The other two scenes that I did were speeches from the courtroom scene and the Harlem Rally speech. I’ve always auditioned for everything that I’ve ever had to do. It’s the intuitive spirit of 'I will do this difficult, challenging audition, and then throw it away, and let it go, and it’ll come back in some other form if I don’t get it.'"
Stay Connected to the Industry and Yourself
Of course, all these actresses have now "made it," but that doesn't count for anything. You have to continue to get work yourself, even at a massive agency.
Jennifer Lawrence broke down this reality, saying, "Yeah. I was at a really big agency, and I just feel like I had given away my agency. But it was also my fault. I would watch things and be such a fan. I would watch Uncut Gems, and be like, 'Oh my God, the Safdies, that’d be so cool to work with them.' But I didn’t reach out, and that’s something I’ve gotten better about in the last few years.
"I also think a lot of it was just losing touch with the world a little bit," Lawrence added. "I was working so much, and so much of what we do has to do with observing people. I felt like I couldn’t really observe anyone because everybody was observing me. And so, taking a few years and getting back to life, I feel like I can be creative again in that sense."
Learn to Navigate Everyone's Opinions
With any success also comes opinions. Emma Corrin opened up about what it's like hearing everyone's two cents.
She said, "[It happens] when success happens very quickly when you’re young, and you haven’t quite found the power in your own voice yet, in terms of what you want to do, what’s best for you, and actually being able to advocate for what you need. That’s been something I’ve had to learn really fast.
Corrin revealed how she learned, saying, "I’m very much a people pleaser generally in life, and that’s a wonderful thing in many respects. It can also be very, very harmful in this industry because it means you get taken advantage of very quickly. It’s really important to not only in navigating career choices, but also on set in terms of the hours you’re asked to work, and the things you are meant to do, especially as women or nonbinary people, it can be really important to be able to know that you can say no, and draw a line and that that’s not disrespectful."
She continued, saying, "I always felt I had such imposter syndrome, or felt like I was so green or so inexperienced that I had to take everything everyone else was saying as gospel, and it’s been a huge breakthrough very recently to learn to advocate for myself."
These answers allow outsiders to see what it's like to work in this business and the baggage that comes with it. But it also shows how working is a constant struggle to find the art you care about and work to embody it.
This year's actress roundtable was so informative and educational.
What were some of your favorite quotes?
Let us know in the comments.