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5 Ways Stars Are Highlighting Feminist Issues at Cannes Film Festival

The 2015 Cannes Film Festival has surprisingly become a platform for feminist issues to be brought into the spotlight, with many Hollywood stars speaking on gender equality and feminism during interviews, hoping to highlight what they feel strongly about and bring about change. Some spoke on the need for women to be taken seriously and be given equal opportunity and pay. Others commented on the work they’ve recently completed that they feel is empowering women or has a strong message.

Cate Blanchett


Cate made it clear that she didn’t want the attention women are receiving to just be a quick trend: “They say it’s the ‘year of the women’. You hope it’s not just a year — not just some fashionable moment.”

Charlize Theron

During an interview at Cannes, Charlize opened up on her latest role in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, in which many of the central characters are strong women. She said about the director’s vision: “You know what I think is even more powerful about it? [It’s] that I think George didn’t have a feminist agenda up his sleeve, and I think that’s what makes the story even more powerful, especially how the women are represented in it. It’s just very truthful, and I really applaud him for that. I think when we use the word ‘feminism’ people get a little freaked out, it’s like we’re somehow, like, being put on a pedestal or anything like that. George has this innate understanding that women are just as complex and interesting as men, and he was really interested in discovering all of that. I think through just his need and want for the truth he actually made an incredible feminist movie.”

Emily Blunt

After a claim that women were being turned away from the red carpet for not being in heels, Emily said she was disappointed by the rules for women: “Everyone should wear flats to be honest. We shouldn’t be wearing high heels anyways. That’s my point of view. I just prefer wearing Converse sneakers. That’s very disappointing.”

Natalie Portman

Natalie was at the festival promoting her directorial debut ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness’, and says Hollywood often think of films directed by actresses as vanity projects: “I remember as a kid when Barbra Streisand would make movies that she was in and people would say, ‘oh it’s vanity, it’s a vanity thing’.”

Salma Hayek

During a talk held at the festival about gender differences in Hollywood, Salma commented: “The only thing we can do is show them we are an economic force. Nothing else will move them. The minute they see money, things will be instantaneously different.”