Rose Byrne isn’t just a lob inspiration and a brilliant comedic actress. She’s also a brainbox and has just set up a new film production company with a difference: it’s run entirely by women.
The Dollhouse Collective has the Bridesmaids actress at the helm with four of her friends, Gracie Otto, Shannon Murphy, Krew Boylan, and Jessica Carrera. All five are Australian and aim to “develop theatre, film and television together and tell stories with a strong female presence”.
These women haven’t just been prepping the press release for their shoot in Vogue Australia. The Dollhouse Collective has three projects, all female-led, in development. The Screen Daily reports that the first flick on the horizon is about a woman obsessed with Dolly Parton. Co-founder Gracie Otto describes this film, which is sure to have an amazing soundtrack, as being “a mystery, a puzzle film, that unravels through time zones and hotels”. We love Dolly, and we love hotels, so this sounds perfect.
Various reports in recent times have exposed through data that powerful women in Hollywood is still very much the exception. Only 12% of the top 100 grossing films in Hollywood last year had female leads. Sandra Bullock may bring home $51 million a year as the highest earning actress in Hollywood, but Robert Downey Jr. claims a cool $75 million every year in wages. While Kristin Scott Thomas is the most recent voice to call attention to the ageism women suffer in the movie industry.
It’s rather fabulous to see stars like Rose Byrne do something abut the lack of leading lady roles and women’s stories on screen. And it isn’t just Byrne who’s shaking things up. Meryl Streep is one of the financiers behind a lab that helps women over 40 develop scripts. And Reese Witherspoon’s production company Pacific Standard is responsible for hits such as Wild and Gone Girl. Lena Dunham is also behind a studio that wants to push through scripts that tackle gender. Her company is called A Fine Romance, which strikes us as something her mentor and friend Nora Ephron would have heartily approved of.
In the meantime can we all beg Rose to get the Bridesmaids gang together for another hilarious movie?
Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun