Paul Feig, known most recently for being the director of The Heat (starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock) and, most notably, the smash female-led comedy Bridesmaids, spoke out in a recent interview about the lack of progress when it comes to providing opportunities for women in Hollywood.
Speaking to The Huffington Post at the South by Southwest Festival, he said that although the situation is improving, it can still be a lot better.
“It’s not as terrible as it was, but look at the number of lady directors. I have guilt that I’m a man doing these movies. Women should be doing them, too! The studios aren’t giving them the opportunity for whatever reason, and the roles still aren’t there for women like they should be,” Feig said.
Both The Heat and Bridesmaids were wildly successful with audiences–the former raked in $229 million worldwide and the latter, $288 million.
A few weeks ago, the all-female cast for the upcoming reboot of Ghostbusters (Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kristen Wiig), also to be directed by Feig, was announced, and it drew some dishearteningly sexist disapproval on social media.
“People got on me about Ghostbusters and said that it should be a mixed cast. It’s hard enough to pick four actresses! There are so many funny women out there and they need these roles. I hate that. I hate that there isn’t more opportunity,” Feig said on the topic.
As proved by his past movies and his upcoming film, Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy (who also played a principal role in Bridesmaids), he’s determined to give actresses, especially comediennes, the platforms they deserve. In addition, his work doesn’t just portray women and all their “lady problems,” as he phrases it. They’re given strong roles rarely seen on film.
“I love the theme of female friendship. I’ve seen it with my wife, and how important and difficult it is. So I enjoy that. To me, that’s more interesting than trying to work out a relationship with a man. There are plenty of those movies being made, so I don’t have any interest in doing them,” he explained.
Spy is a comedic take on Feig’s love for the James Bond novels and movies. It’s due in theaters this summer.