Jessica Chastain has joined forces with fellow actresses Juliette Binoche, Freida Pinto and Queen Latifah to launch a production company to help finance and produce projects created by and for women. We Do It Together hopes to produce content that will change female stereotypes and empower women to tell their stories. Director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) and actress Ziyi Zhang are also on the A-list board of founding members. The company will announce its first film at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
The Martian star, who is currently in Toronto filming the upcoming drama Miss Sloane, has been outspoken in the past about roles for women in Hollywood, in particular the sexualization of female action stars. In an interview with Radio Times, the actress explained, "The problem that studios have is that they try to make kickass women very sexualized. They have to be in some catsuit. But if you look at the most incredible female roles, like Ripley in Alien, she is a very sexy woman but she’s not wearing a lot of make-up. She’s in a T-shirt and jeans. What’s sexy about her is how capable she is." She added that when it comes to her own appreciation of film, "If the female character isn't as interesting as the male character, I'm not interested."
This new female-friendly production company will be a welcome addition to the industry and will undoubtedly be supported by other leadings ladies, espeically those who are leading the fight for equal pay and access to a diversity of roles in television and film. Following the Sony hack scandal that disclosed actors' salaries, Jennifer Lawrence voiced her frustration over being paid less than her male co-stars in 2013's American Hustle. "I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need.”