Surprise comments follow Emily Watson’s claim at the San Sebastián film festival that equal pay was not her ‘personal quest’
Interviewed in Porter magazine, the French star of La Vie En Rose and Rust and Bone said she did not consider herself a feminist.
The Cannes film festival has been at the centre of claims that it fails to promote diversity since 2012, when all 22 films in the major competitions were directed by men. But, addressing the issue, Cotillard said she struggled to see a problem.
“Film-making is not about gender,” she said. “You cannot ask a president in a festival like Cannes to have, like, five movies directed by women and five by men.
“For me it doesn’t create equality, it creates separation. I mean, I don’t qualify myself as a feminist.
“We need to fight for women’s rights but I don’t want to separate women from men. We’re separated already because we’re not made the same and it’s the difference that creates this energy in creation and love. Sometimes in the word feminism there’s too much separation.”
Cotillard’s comments echo those made by British actor Emily Watson at a press conference at the San Sebastián film festival. “In terms of equal pay, there’s obviously a question to be answered about how it’s divided up, but I don’t think it’s my personal quest,” said the Oscar nominee. “I just feel so grateful that I do ajob that I love and someone pays me.”
Hollywood’s struggles with gender equality have been a hot issue recently to the point that a backlash now appears to be brewing. Women made up only 30.2% of all speaking or named characters in the 100 top-grossing films distributed in the US between 2007 and 2014, according to research conducted by the University of Southern California for the Geena Davis Institute, with a remarkably low 1.9% of those films directed by women.
Patricia Arquette raised the issue of the pay gap during her best supporting actress acceptance speech at February’s Oscars, and Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson and Carey Mulligan are among actors who have added their voices to calls for Hollywood to address it.
This article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 29th September 2015 11.01 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010