Emmy Rossum’s own move to the director’s chair stemmed from a deep curiosity that developed over several seasons on Showtime’s “Shameless.”
She finally took the plunge in Season 7. The process was “demystified” through shadowing other directors, observing her husband Sam Esmail (creator of “Mr. Robot”) in action and attending a class at New York University, she said.
“I am a great believer in: You should know what you don’t know,” she said. “I still don’t know a lot, but this is just the beginning of me figuring out what I don’t know, I guess.”
Nicole Kidman is a perfect example of that.
After decades of illuminating the big screen, the actress jumped into executive producing to adapt “Big Little Lies” for television. Finding people to collaborate with on the project — including Reese Witherspoon — was easy enough. But she admitted to facing challenges getting the project made.
“It’s never easy,” she told reporters after a recent Television Critics Association discussion. “You have to convince people to put the money there, you have to convince them it’s going to work, [and] you have to kind of trick yourself into thinking it’s going to work.”
There are still many corners of the industry where the bright light of progress fails to reach.
In the 2015-16 TV season, women directed just 17% of all episodic television, according to Directors Guild of America stats.
Sure, well-intentioned networks (like FX and NBC) and filmmakers (like Ava DuVernay and Ryan Murphy) have attempted to put in place initiatives that aim to help, but far too many shows remain complacent with the status quo behind the scenes.
“X-Files” became the target of criticism this summer when it was reported the series had hired all white male writers for its upcoming season. (Later, Fox announced two women were assigned to write episodes.) Upon initially hearing about the lack of female representation, star Gillian Anderson declared on Twitter, “I believe we can do better.”
That is, perhaps, the key phrase that has fueled generations of female creatives and will continue to do so — Hollywood can do better.
Those who don’t see it that way might be advised to put their glasses on.