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Jodie Foster, Julie Taymor Want a More ‘Complex Conversation’ About Women in Hollywood

The conversation about the status of women in the movie business has become exhausting, Jodie Foster and Julie Taymor admitted Wednesday during a panel at the Tribeca Film Festival.

“We were both talking about the woman thing and how we are both a little sick of it,” Foster said. “But we don’t want to ignore it either,” Taymor added.

When asked why they were over it, Foster said the debate had become too simplistic.

“I feel like the issue is way more complicated than saying, ‘Why aren’t women making big mainstream franchises?” Foster said.

“There are so many reasons,” she added. “Some of them are about our psychology, some of them are about the financial world, some of them are about the global economy. There are so many answers to that go back hundreds of years. It would be nice to be able to have a more complex conversation and to be able to look at it more than just a quota or numbers.”

Foster doesn’t see the lack of women in leadership roles in Hollywood as part of a larger plan to discriminate but rather an issue that hadn’t been a prime focus before.

“I don’t think there is a big plot to keep women down,” Foster said. “It is neglect really, and a lot of people that weren’t thinking about it, and a lot of female executives who have risen to the top, who have not really made a dent of bringing many women into the mainstream world.”

Foster, meanwhile, will premiere her fourth feature film, “Money Monster,” next month at the Cannes Film Festival. The film, which stars George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and Jack O’Connell, tells the story of a failed investor who holds a television commentator hostage on live TV.

“These are people who don’t feel valuable enough and so they have to figure out ways to feel valuable,” Foster said of her characters. “And each one of them go about it in different ways. That sounds really vague, but there are guns involved.”

Although the film comes at a time when of bipartisan criticisms are regularly hurled at Wall Street, Foster said “Money Monster” is not meant to be political.

“For me really it is a character film. The backdrop of technology is really interesting to me… technology is making us closer and we have this virtual intimacy that sometimes feels closer than real intimacy,” Foster said.

She added that after making “Money Monster,” she’s excited to make more personal films.

“Here I am making a genre film, something I never thought I wanted to do,” Foster said. “I really will be happy to go back to less of a popcorn movie. It was a wonderful experience but I feel like a lot of the stories I want to tell would be constrained in that format.”

(Pictured: Jodie Foster)

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