The pandemic ensured most Hollywood actors wondered what their real purpose was! Especially when health (frontline) workers and other 'essential' jobs were the only ones that got highlighted, it was a question posed by all and sundry of the world of entertainment that would possibly make a comeback. At least, this was the case when COVID 19 started making its presence felt global. But thankfully, with the vaccinations and new safety protocols, things are getting better, filming also began.
Women Who Personify Patience And Resilience
This year has been full of surprises. This time, ELLE's 2021 Women in Hollywood features women who personified patience and resilience. They're women who have done wonders and broken barriers. It's quite an eclectic mix this year. It had someone who discovered the power of art in trauma (Jennifer Hudson) to someone who never shied away from speaking the truth (Jodie Comer). It also saw the first Latina who won the Oscar (Rita Morena) to the first and only Black woman to have won the Best Actress Oscar (Halle Berry).
There are more. "A first for Marvel films," the character of Makkari in Eternals (Lauren Ridloff) was amazingly portrayed, as much as the art in the character of Red Notice (Gal Gadot). Not to forget women who relentlessly worked for refugees (Angelina Jolie), lashed out against AAPI violence (Gemma Chan), and uplifted domestic violence survivors (Salma Hayek).
What Were Their Reactions?
Actresses Jolie, Gadot, and Berry from the female gang from Hollywood who was honored, alongside the others at the 27th Annual Elle Women in Hollywood event, organized by the magazine, were elated. Angelina had a lot to say about the bonding shown among the four women as eternal. While Gemma's grace and elegance, especially in the way she walked around, stunned everyone. Lauren's connection and intelligence were powerful attributes. Also, Salma's power in her motherhood can make anybody swoon! She was all praise for the others, who displayed the strength of character as much as her own.
All the women slipped into their characters, which was quite an extension of themselves. If there's anybody who deserves more praise than the others, it would be the director. Given her star cast for films she directed, there's a secret that the actors are unaware of, but she knows. And that's what makes it possible to cast real people in the roles she thinks of, thereby offering the film's much-needed shape and framework.
They Had A Lot More To Share
On the other hand, Salma wasn't prepared when she got a call from the director Chloe Zhao to play the 'grandmother'! She didn't know she would be one of the Eternals. The role made her wonder if she even fit the bill. Questions kept popping in her head, like being a Mexican, a Middle Eastern, someone in her 50s- how (and if at all) she could do justice to the role of a superhero in a Marvel series. As a woman of color and age, she often felt overlooked. But she was acknowledged by the person she admired, which propelled her to get started with the role. And that was wonderful.
Halle had reasons to act in her directorial venture and the upcoming film Bruised. Three decades back, she started her career when Black women lacked a proper place in this industry. It was from then that she took on the spirit of fighting for what is right. Stories about giving people second chances, or last chances, redemption- attracted her. The fact that we all make mistakes and deserve forgiveness resonates with her.
The Women Who Overcame Tough Times
Gal had to undergo tough times after being mistreated by Joss Whedon in Justice League. She stayed indebted to the heads of Warner Brothers, who took care of the situation back then. She was not in her real form, especially when she felt like exerting the sense of righteousness she carried for long.
The incident wasn't okay, and it should be told to as many people as possible- that's what she did. Things wouldn't have been the same if she was a man. While one cannot correct the damage, but her sense of justice made her stand upright.
The others, too, had interesting stories to share. And readers will certainly be enthralled knowing their bits too. Feel free to explore the fascinating stories of the powerful women who made it to Elle's list this year.