POSTED June 16 2014

Is starmaking gender-linked?

Jennifer Lawrence in Debra Granik's "Winter's Bone."

Jennifer Lawrence in Debra Granik’s “Winter’s Bone.”

While I figure out how to prove this, let me advance a hunch: Female directors are more likely than their male counterparts to cast actors that both men and women like.


Gillian Armstrong, director of My Brilliant Career and Oscar & Lucinda, cast Judy Davis and Cate Blanchett in their first significant parts.

Amy Heckerling, director of Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless, gave the world Sean Penn and Paul Rudd.

Debra Granik, director of Winter’s Bone, and Brenda Hampton, creator of The Secret Life of an American Teenager respectively cast today’s “It” girls Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley in their first high-profile roles.

Gurinder Chadha, director of Bend it Like Beckham, cast Keira Knightly and Parminder Nagra in their first starring roles and likewise tapped Aaron Johnson for his first major part in Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.

Catherine Hardwicke, director of the first Twilight film and of The Nativity Story,  gave Robert Pattinson and Oscar Isaac their first lead parts.

Tom Hanks was an established comic lead by 1986. Yet Penny Marshall’s Big and A League of Their Own and Nora Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail helped launch him to superstardom.

Denzel Washington was an established lead by 1991. But it took Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala to bring out his sexy side.

I can thing of many more examples. You? My theory is that female directors are more likely than their male counterparts to make character-driven material which is the stuff star persona is made of. Your thoughts?


  1. Min says:

    Wow, you left off Kristen Stewart when mentioning Catherine Hardwick and Twilight and only mentioned the males. I’ve never even heard of Oscar Isaac — and I saw The Nativity!
    That’s messed up. Hard to get excited about an article on gender that disses the females and promotes the males. Is that the point? That female directors pick hot guys? Sounds like it. Disappointed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please prove you\'re not a robot: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.