During the 1980s and 90s, Geena Davis was one of Hollywood’s most bankable and likable stars, with leading roles in such classics as ‘Beetlejuice’, ‘Thelma & Louise’ and ‘A League of Their Own’. But after a couple of big budget flops, she took some time off and later turned her attention to TV, starring in ‘The Geena Davis Show’, ‘Commander In Chief’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and most recently ‘The Exorcist‘. But she isn’t done with films. This weekend sees the limited release of her new science fiction drama ‘Marjorie Prime’ as the daughter of a woman (Lois Smith) whose dead husband (Jon Hamm) “lives” on as a hologram, remaining eternally young while she, Marjorie, grows older.
In the 90s, Davis took a few forays into the action arena including the praised ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight’ with Samuel L. Jackson and the box office dud ‘Cutthroat Island’. Is she interested in appearing in an action role nowadays? You bet! And surely you can guess which one.
“Certainly “Wonder Woman” needed to be made, and I’m so beyond thrilled with how it came out. I met Patty Jenkins and I told her, “I’m sure you’re going to make a sequel and if you need anybody Amazonian, there’s always me. I’m available.”
I loved it, and I want to do more of those films. My dream goal would be to have a streaming show where I could be a badass.”
Outside of the soundstage, Davis founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, a nonprofit devoted to having as many girls as boys in children’s media.
In discussing her work in this area she said:
“We have not been able to measure an increase yet, but I can tell you that I feel like things are changing. I focus on movies and TV that are made for kids 11 years old and under. There was a very powerful feeling in the entertainment industry that there was not gender bias in kids products. But I noticed when I had a daughter that there seemed to be far fewer female characters than male characters in what we’re showing kids. But I couldn’t find anybody in the industry who noticed what I noticed.
I have managed to land on a very effective technique for creating change in this specific area. The average person in Hollywood, when asked if this was still a gender problem, they would say “yes, yes, obviously,” but that was not the case with creators of children’s content. When I bring them the numbers they’re horrified. Their jaws are on the ground. They immediately want to create change. I’ve found a problem that was utterly unnoticed and is easily fixed. In five or 10 years we’ll see a dramatic increase in onscreen female characters in kids entertainment, I can’t vouch for anything else.
I feel we’re training kids to have unconscious gender bias from the beginning by showing these profoundly unequal worlds where females take up a small part of the population. We’re showing kids that girls are less important and less valuable because there are so few of them in children’s entertainment. How are we ever going to get half of Congress to be women or half of our presidential candidates to be women if we don’t change that?”
She probably doesn’t kick anybody’s ass in ‘Marjorie Prime’ but it still looks like an intelligent, thought provoking film. You can watch the trailer below:
Do you think Geena Davis would make a good addition to the DC Extended Universe? Should she play an Amazon or an even larger role?