Olivia Wilde has come up with a way for Hollywood to tackle the diversity problem – stop drawing on the same pool of talent and widen the net.
With scandals like the gender pay gap debate and the #OscarsSoWhite outrage in 2015, as well the introduction of inclusion riders, the tide appears to be turning when it comes to industry diversity.
However, Rush actress Olivia hinted that the progress is slow as she spoke at a screening of her directorial debut Booksmart at the Film Independent Forum.
“It turns out when you see all actors and you just hire the best people, you actually end up with a really representative set. The problem is most people don’t look at everyone. If we keep drawing from the same pool, it becomes this recycled pot of inspiration. There’s nothing new if you don’t take a step further,” she stated, according to Variety.
“In order for casts to become more diverse and representative – the same goes for crew behind the camera – you have to look beyond resume. You have to hire people based on their talent, their skills, their ideas, their passion.”
For her film, which stars Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever as two high schoolers who realise they should have studied less and partied more on the eve of their graduation, Olivia hired a female-dominated crew.
She also was happy to go with her gut instinct when it came to the cast and crew.
“If we keep hiring based on resume, we will just continue this paradigm and everything will be the same as it’s been. We have to break the mould, we have to change the way we hire people. Maybe you could be a little bit nervous to hire an actor who’s never been on a film set and has a pretty sizeable role, but I found that pretty exciting,” she smiled.
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