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09/30/2015 09:39 am ET

Studios Don't Have To Oversexualize 'Kick-Ass Women,' Says Jessica Chastain

Ban catsuits.
Eamonn M. McCormack via Getty Images

A growing number of actresses are speaking out against sexism in Hollywood, and now Jessica Chastain has given her thoughts on ladies in action roles.

"If you look at films like 'Elektra' and 'Aeon Flux,' the problem that studios have is that they try to make kick-ass women very sexualized. They have to be in some catsuit," she said in an interview with Radio Times.

"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," Chastain said, adding the same went for Jennifer Lawrence's "Hunger Games" character.

"Linda Hamilton in 'Terminator 2' was incredible," she went on. "I remember the opening shot of her in that tank top doing those pull-ups, and I remember being a little girl watching her and thinking, 'This is amazing. I want to be her.'"

No one needed to see Jessica Chastain in a catsuit when she played a badass CIA agent tasked with hunting down the world's most famous terrorist in "Zero Dark Thirty." Now, her character in "The Martian" is tasked with hunting down the world's most famous lost cosmonaut -- also sans restrictive costume. The actress told The Hollywood Reporter she hoped her most recent role might inspire young girls' interest in space.

It's a "misjudgment," Chastain said, when Hollywood execs believe audiences aren't interested in seeing intelligent women in action roles onscreen.

"If the female character isn't as interesting as the male character," she said, "I'm not interested." Amen.

 

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