I had the honor of interviewing Women In Film co-founder, Nancy Malone. The Loreen Arbus Award For Those Who Take Action and Effect Change will be given to Nancy, actor, producer, director, and founding member of Women in Film, on December 12, 2013 .
1)Nancy, you are receiving The Loreen Arbus Award from your peers at Women In Film & Television. What is this honor like?
The recognition is extremely important to me. An award that doesn’t reward a skill or craft like acting, directing, producing, etc., but one that shines a light on what I have believed to be my obligation to give back in a positive and meaningful way.
2)How did you become the co-founder of Women in Film?
My friend, Sue Cameron, was a columnist for The Hollywood Reporter. She was able to secure private information about the imbalance of women writers in TV and Film. She wrote about it in her paper. Then she called me at Twentieth Century Fox, and asked what we could do about the discrepancy. We then met in the office of Tichi Miles – President of The Hollywood Reporter – with seven other women – lawyers, PR people, development people, etc. – to contribute ideas, and express our outrage at this little-known reality. We all agreed to form a support group, and invite all the crafts to come together to correct this discrimination – which we found stretched just beyond the writers. We wrote by-laws and developed a mission statement. Women In Film was launched. We are now in our 40th year, with a Chapter in Cuba.
3)Nancy, what do you think of the roles for women today compared to the roles for women of yesteryear – both in film and television?
There are more women in film and TV, but not a broad spectrum. There is a tremendous similarity in looks and age. I watch British TV, and I observe women of 50 and 60 and older in pivotal roles, character women, if you will, and they all DON’T wear a size 4! I wish Madison Avenue, Network, and Cable would please stop neglecting a demographic who buys Lexus.
4)Nancy, what challenges have you faced as co-founder of Women in Film?
The challenges were early on. Most people did not believe there was a need for this type of organization. Reactions ranged from demeaning to curious to scoffing negative. WE cut through all the negativity because the need for support was great.
5)Nancy, do you have a say in trying to get better film/television roles for women?
Yes, in as much as I try to develop unique characters. But I am not the buyer. “THEY” are the ones who can evoke change.
6)Nancy, who are your favorite female roles today?
Claire Danes, Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Lawrence, and all the actresses on “Rectify”.
7)Nancy, who are your favorite female roles of yesteryear?
Susan Hayward, Olivia de Havilland, Greta Garbo, Jean Arthur, Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis, and Myrna Loy.
They had style. I long for some of the contemporary actresses to create a real individual persona – like the stars of yesteryear.