Although the lines are longer at Comic-Con for men, the women have been ramping up their presence in the world of comics, video games, action, adventure and ass-kicking for a while now.
Last year, Entertainment Weekly began to curate a panel of kick-ass females in film and TV to discuss their roles and their lives as fierce, fearless and fantastic women. Interestingly enough, the women on this year’s panel revealed that it’s the fear that actually drives them forward.
“As soon as I have fear or doubt, it’s where I know I have to go,” offers Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black. “I think fear is the most fertile ground.”
Along with Maslany, Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones), Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy), Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones), Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow) and Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story) discussed what it’s like to be a woman in the entertainment industry today.
We’ve got the best takeaways from the panel:
Natalie Dormer on when she knew she had to take a certain role: “It was the audition scene for Margaery. And I could see that Thrones wrote really three-dimensional, complex women. There was equality there, and I knew I wanted to be a part of that show.
“TV doesn’t feel the need to polarize women as much as in film. I experienced it playing Ann Boleyn as well [on the Tudors]. Male writers find they either need to make us the angel or the whore. But they’re not mutually exclusive. You can be a good human being and be shrewd. Half the people in this room are probably female [cheers erupt]. We are as complex and contradictory as the men, and Margaery reflects that.”
Nicole Beharie on breaking out of her shell: “I’ve often played historical characters. I never saw myself as an action actor, but once I found myself in that part, I had no other choice but to expand the concept of myself.
“I see a certain command [on set] now that I hadn’t had before. Being a lead on a show and really owning that space, not feeling like I need to shrink.”
Sarah Paulson on playing an 80-year-old: “It was really hard. I didn’t want to make her a caricature. I remember being really scared about how it would look and if it’d be hokey. I thought that if I watch this and ruin the love I have of her with some crappy, acting class shit, I’m going to be really mad at myself. But, the harder [the job] is, the better I feel.”
Katey Sagal on her favorite kick-ass moment: “It was actually a quiet moment that I really liked. In season two, when Gemma had been raped. She’s always doing what’s right for the good of the whole, and so she didn’t tell anyone what happened, her secret, because she knew it’d start a war. Toward the end of the season, she reveals what happened. It was quiet, but it was powerful. For her to reveal that secret was a big step.”
Maisie Williams on growing up on set: “I feel like I have to find who I am as a person and also live in the limelight. It gets really hectic. I’d love to do crazy things with my hair. I recently got my nose pieced and everyone went bonkers over that. You know, everyone tells me to be true to myself, just be myself, but I can’t. I can’t do that, not really.”
Dormer added: “We have a multitude of lives for the price of one.”