Tuesday 22 January 2019

Lucy Liu: There are still obstacles for female directors

The Charlie’s Angels star has helmed an episode of Marvel’s Luke Cage.

Lucy Liu said she does not want to be hired as part of a box-ticking exercise (PA)
Lucy Liu said she does not want to be hired as part of a box-ticking exercise (PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Charlie’s Angels star Lucy Liu has said she wants to be hired because of her talent as a director and not as part of a box-ticking exercise.

The US star, who first found fame in Ally McBeal, has directed numerous episodes of her Sherlock Holmes show Elementary and has directed the first episode of the new series of Marvel’s Luke Cage.

However she said there are still obstacles for female directors and change will not happen overnight.

Speaking at a Netflix panel in Rome alongside Luke Cage showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker, she said: “As a woman it’s really fantastic to have the opportunity to be a part of this culture that I now am.

“I did not grow up in television and and film, I grew up in a very different kind of environment, it was more of a fantasy world, so this is really a dream come true.

“To take all of these experiences that I’ve had and to apply it as a director is incredibly special.

“I think it’s time for women to have the opportunity.

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“I don’t know if you’ve seen what happened with the Southwest airliner that happened yesterday with this female pilot, who was able to ground this plane under a great deal of duress.

“Unfortunately they lost somebody in that, but it could have been very bad and she talked about how she did not have the opportunity to be in the Air Force and she did not have the opportunity for a lot of things because she was a woman and that is a shame because clearly she has got the chops.

“So now I want to be hired based on what people see, for what I see, not because I’m a woman and not because I’m Asian.

“I don’t want to check off all those boxes. I want to be here, I want to be hired, I want to be a part of something because of my talent, and that is very, very important and yes, sometimes you don’t even get in the door because you’re a woman and things are changing but they are not going to change as fast as you would like them to.

“The wall comes down but that doesn’t mean we have democracy overnight and I have been very lucky because I’ve been part of a show that I was able to direct on.”

Coker added that six of the 13 directors who worked on the new series of Luke Cage were women.

He said: “Gender has nothing to do with taste and where you place the camera, it’s all about passion and vision.”

Liu disappointed Charlie’s Angels fans hoping for a third film with co-stars Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore.

She said: “I am not planning on doing any more, I’m sorry. There are many more opportunities in the future to look forward to.”

The second series of Marvel’s Luke Cage will stream on Netflix on June 22.

Press Association

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