The New York Times is agog that Hollywood in 2017 is daring to challenge the societal taboo against action movies in which beautiful actresses who subsist on celery beat up hordes of beefy stuntmen.
Women Who Have the Chops (and the Punches and the Kicks)
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By JULIE BLOOM MAY 5, 2017
Speeding car chases, heart-stopping hand-to-hand combat, bodies left for dead on the pavement, a backdrop of international espionage. The director David Leitch’s latest film has all the elements of a Jason Bourne or James Bond blockbuster — except for one major difference. It’s a woman throwing the punches.
In “Atomic Blonde,” Charlize Theron takes on the biggest action role for a woman on screen to date. …
“It felt very provocative,” Ms. Theron said, “and yet there was nothing about this role that felt like I was outside of my skin.”
Mr. Leitch explained: “I wanted to approach it like you would a movie with any other male action character. So there’s no distinction.” He added, “We don’t apologize for anything we’re doing, and we don’t give explanations for anything we’re doing.”
Still, Ms. Theron said these roles don’t come often enough. “I don’t think we’ve ever given women a fair shot to really have the opportunities to take on roles like these,” she said, citing Ms. Weaver’s as a big inspiration for her “Mad Max” performance. “I remember seeing her when I was young, and it really left an impression on me. She’s incredible. Linda Hamilton in ‘Terminator.’ Scarlett Johansson right now. Tons more women could be amazing if they just had the opportunity.”
Other female action heroes agree. Along with Ms. Theron, we talked to several stars who helped push the genre forward about how action roles have changed for women, how much thought goes into why they throw a punch and what it means for all viewers, and especially young girls, to see a woman kicking ass onscreen.