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Feminspire | April 25, 2014

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Actresses Strike Back Against Ridiculous Interview Questions

Actresses Strike Back Against Ridiculous Interview Questions

Lately I’ve noticed a trend arising among the countless gifsets I scroll past on my Tumblr dashboard. Every time I see it I want to cheer.

Aren’t we all sick of the terrible questions that actresses are asked by various interviewers? I know I’m tired of hearing how hard they had to work out to get into their costumes, what diet plan they followed, blah blah boring blah. And it’s starting to sound like the actresses are bored of it too.

Take Scarlett Johansson, who played a total BAMF character in The Avengers and held her own as a talented actress in the male-dominated cast. Seeing interviews and press conferences before and after the film’s release really increased my awareness of how differently actresses are treated by the media. Male cast member after male cast member was asked a deep question about the motivations of his character. Reporters then reached ScarJo and asked her about her waistline and her diet. And, because she’s a total BAMF herself, ScarJo reacted to this trend by setting one herself: she lashed back. And, in a true power moment, the rest of the cast supported her.

“How come you get the really interesting existential question and I get the rabbit food question?” she lamented to Robert Downey Jr. at a press conference, after he refused to answer a reporter who had asked him an interesting question and asked her a question about food. “What kind of an interview is this?!” she threw at an interviewer who asked what kind of underwear she had to wear with her costume.

The trend continued with Anne Hathaway, who was exposed to similar inanity throughout the press coverage of her role as Catwoman. The same interviewer who asked about ScarJo’s underwear was thoroughly embarrassed by AnnHath, who was so irritated by his pursuit of the minute details of her workout regime that she turned the question back on him. “What’s the deal man? You look great. What do you want? Are you trying to fit into a cat suit?”

The ever-wonderful Amy Poehler, who plays Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation, has also been known to tell interviewers outright that their questions are boring, particularly when they mention that oh-so-surprising-have-you-heard-oh-no-hang-on-not-surprising-at-all-in-this patriarchy fact that men don’t think women are funny.

Seeing actresses react like this really gives me hope. They are downright refusing to answer sexist questions and demanding that they be treated with the same respect offered by the press to their male counterparts. Their interviewers are left embarrassed and, hopefully, with a clearer understanding of what questions they should bring to the next interview.

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Written by Abbey Lewis
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