Since accepting an Oscar for her role in "Boyhood" in February with scathing comments about the wage gap, Patricia Arquette has become an outspoken advocate for gender equality.
In an interview with Fortune published this weekend, she discussed how sexism in Hollywood has affected her career.
"I pushed the boundaries as much as I could along the way," the actress explained. "I remember a director telling my agent that it would be great if I could lose 10 pounds as long as my boobs didn’t get smaller. I didn’t want to lose 10 pounds, and I didn’t."
Gross. But then, pointing a finger at what she described as an excessively "image- and age-focused culture," she explained how sticking to her ideals hasn't always been easy.
"We are teaching our daughters that all that matters is that they are this sexual ideal. ... There were times I turned down movies when I needed work financially, when I had a newborn, because the roles were inappropriate, or the director was inappropriate or unethical," Arquette explained in the interview. Although she acknowledged that she "can't complain" much about her career as a woman in Hollywood, the actress noted her achievements are "not common."
"There are very few successful women in Hollywood, and that needs to change," Arquette said. Her comments reiterate the views on gender inequality she shared at San Francisco's Dreamforce Women's Leadership Summit earlier this month.
"We are kind of lying to our daughters when we tell them they can do anything," she said before an audience at the event, explaining how disparate wages between men and women harm women in every industry. "Economically, girls are going to crash their heads against the glass ceiling and get cut up in the process."
In her interview with Fortune, she linked her concerns about unequal pay to concerns about limited opportunity for women in and outside of Hollywood.
"That is another reason I feel the way I do about gender pay equality," Arquette told the magazine. "I grew up in a time when women felt they couldn’t make those choices, when women couldn’t leave bad marriages and battered women stayed with their abusers because they couldn’t afford to do it alone."
For the full interview, head to Fortune.
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