×

Salma Hayek on Women in Hollywood: ‘We’re On the Right Path, and We’re Not Going to Stop’

Salma Hayek is very hopeful about the future for women in Hollywood.

“What I can tell you is that a lot more women are directing and acting and writing and producing. And there are a lot more movies made about women and for women because the audience was neglected,” the star told Variety at the premiere of her new comedy “Like a Boss“ in New York on Tuesday night. “We’re on the right path. And we’re not going to stop.”

The Oscar nominee was joined by her co-stars Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne. “Like a Boss” follows best friends Mia and Mel (Haddish and Byrne) who join forces to run their own boutique cosmetics company. When the prospect of a big buyout offer from a notorious titan of the beauty industry (Hayek) tempts them, their lifelong bond — and their business — is put in jeopardy.

“For once this is a movie that is not about a woman looking for a man or needing a man,” Hayek said. “I hope that a lot of people go to see it because the more that they see movies about women, the more that it empowers women.”

The comedy comes on the heels of a banner year in cinema that featured female protagonists in films like “Little Women” and “Captain Marvel.” As reported by Variety, there was a dramatic shift in 2019 with the percentage of female leads rising from 31% to 40% in top grossing films. According to a new study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, the historical high also saw 45% of female protagonists appearing in studio features.

Popular on Variety

In addition, major production companies are seemingly responding to pressure to promote diverse stories about women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community. But Haddish doesn’t think the push for change should be left up to the typical decision-makers.

“It’s about us putting in the work and creating the projects and creating the opportunities in order to do those things to make it better,” Haddish told Variety. “I sit back and I listen to people talk sometimes, saying, ‘They’re not letting us; they’re not giving it to us.’ Why do we have to ask permission? Why can’t we just start putting it together? If they want to come on board with it, come on board. And if not, oh well.”

“I’m about creating an opportunity,” Haddish continued. “People say I’m loud and obnoxious, but sometimes it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the oil and gets things done.”

Rounding out the cast present for the festive, pink-carpet affair at the SVA Theatre were Billy Porter, Jennifer Coolidge, Karan Soni, Ryan Hansen, Jacob Latimore, Jimmy O. Yang and Caroline Arapoglou. “Like a Boss” opens nationwide on Jan. 10.

Salma Hayek, Tiffany Haddish and Rose ByrneParamount Pictures presents the World Premiere of 'Like A Boss' After Party, New York, USA - 07 Jan 2020
CREDIT: Dave Allocca/StarPix/Shutterstock

More Film

  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star

    How 'Bad Boys for Life' Escaped the Franchise Revival Curse

    Sony’s “Bad Boys” franchise proved a 17-year gap between installments means little for the right property. “Bad Boys for Life,” reuniting stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as drug-busting cops, beat expectations and debuted to a stellar $68 million in North America over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. The action comedy now stands [...]

  • Tony Hall, Director General of the

    Frontrunners Emerge as BBC Boss Tony Hall Set to Leave Broadcasting Behind

    As the U.K. industry reacts to news of Tony Hall’s intention to depart the BBC this July, top-level executives including Charlotte Moore and Tim Davie as well as external contenders such as Channel 4’s Alex Mahon are beginning to emerge. Variety understands that Lord Hall, who has headed the BBC for seven years as director [...]

  • The Isle of the Dead

    UniFrance Puts Spotlight on Emerging French VR Sector at Rendez-Vous

    France has a burgeoning eco-system of virtual reality and augmented reality producers, and is one of Europe’s leading VR/AR hubs. The UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris, a showcase of French projects that wraps Monday, included a VR/AR showcase, with recent projects demonstrated by Wide Management VR, VRrOOm and Atlas V. UniFrance’s online MyFrenchFilm [...]

  • Los Lobos

    Watch First Trailer for Samuel Kishi Leopo’s ‘Los Lobos’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    FiGa Films has shared the first trailer for Animal de Luz production “Los Lobos,” the second feature from Mexican director Samuel Kishi Leopo, set to play in Berlinale’s GenerationKplus. Previously the film won the SIGNIS award at the Havana Film Festival and passed through various international festivals such as Korea’s Busan International Film Festival and [...]

  • Jacques Bidou, Marianne Dumoulin on Challenges

    Jacques Bidou, Marianne Dumoulin on Challenges of Producing Sundance-Player 'Yalda' in Iran

    Massoud Bakhshi’s second feature, “Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness,” has its world premiere in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition, to be screened without the director. The pic’s production company, JBA Production, and sales outfit, Pyramide International, issued a joint statement on Jan. 14 explaining that the director won’t be attending due to the U.S.-Iran crisis, [...]

  • Mama Weed

    'Divorce Club,' 'Mama Weed,' 'Under the Stars of Paris' Among Highlights at UniFrance Rendez-Vous

    A mix of comedies such as Isabelle Huppert starrer “Mama Weed” and Michaël Youn’s “Divorce Club,” and director-driven titles like Claus Drexel’s “Under the Stars of Paris” were among the most buzzed-about market premieres of the UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema. The five-day showcase kicked off Jan. 17 with the world premiere of Martin Provost’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content