KiKi Layne and Charlize Theron were up to the challenge of kicking butt in the Gina Prince-Bythewood comic-book film The Old Guard. But, unlike most action films, which they note have been directed by mostly men, the actors tell ABC Audio that having a woman behind the camera allowed them to tap into a more “vulnerable” side.
“I know Gina was very much about the vulnerability of these characters, which I think is something that women naturally are more comfortable leaning into,” Layne tells ABC Audio. “And recognize that there is strength in that. And so I think she definitely invited us to lean into more of the vulnerability of all of these characters, even though they are people who could, you know, whoop your [butt] in like two seconds.”
Theron agrees, adding that she enjoys working with female directors, even though it’s usually on a rare occasion.
“I’m always embarrassed to acknowledge that I’ve worked with more — way more, just a disproportionate amount — male filmmakers than female filmmakers in my career,” Theron says. “I think that we can all acknowledge that when we see something like this, we realize there needs to be more of it.”
“[But,] it’s so celebrated. It’s so appreciated by audiences,” she continues. “And we have to actively, proactively, create those opportunities.”
Thankfully for fans, Theron reveals she is already committed to changing that landscape with her own personal projects.
And so, for myself as a female producer, I take it very seriously when we take a project on,” she says. “We consciously make an effort to really — not just with the director — with out department heads, with our casts, to always pay attention to that diversity.
The Old Guard is available to stream on Netflix.