Anna Paquin says the "power balance has changed" in the film industry in favour of women.
The 35-year-old actress is very pleased that women’s voices are now being heard and are prominent in the film industry, and it’s been a huge step forward to see lots of women in "executive roles" who can now green light female-led projects.
Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, Paquin said: "The power balance has changed. There are more women in executive and behind-the-scenes roles who have just had enough of being told what we can and can’t do. And women like myself going, ‘OK, I’ve been doing this for 27 years; I’m not going to sit around and wait for those roles to show up. I’m going to go out there, find it, create it and make it happen for myself.’"
Pacquin insists there is still much more to be done for gender equality in Hollywood and she still feels that actresses have to work harder than their male counterparts to prove their worth and prove they’re not going to be difficult on set.
She added: "One has to work extra-hard as a woman in a very male-dominated industry. As an actress walking on to a film set, you’re guilty until proven innocent. They assume you’re going to be a pain in the ass, high-maintenance and difficult, and you usually spend the first couple of weeks having to work hard to prove that you’re not going to be a problem because you’re a woman. And I think we’re all just collectively done with that. When I see younger girls on set, or kids, that I once looked at thinking, ‘Please, dear God, get out of the film industry.’ I now think, ‘Actually, we might be able to make this a safe environment for young people in positions of no power.’ "
The ‘True Blood’ star won her first Oscar at 11 years old for Best Supporting Actress in ‘The Piano’ at the 1993 Academy Awards, and Pacquin admits that she was in a fortunate position in her career from that moment onwards, something she is very grateful for.
The actress – who has five-year-old twins, Charlie and Poppy, with her husband Stephen Moyer – said: "I entered this industry in a very backwards sort of way. I did one job, won an Oscar, and then people said: ‘Ooh, you have a career now.’ I do have the luxury of being a little more choosy because of the circumstances of my career."