By Jon Herskovitz
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters)
Film star Daryl Hannah returned to the red carpet with her debut as a feature film director and said the odds are stacked against women taking prominent roles in the film industry
Her playful fantasy western shot on a shoe-string budget called “Paradox” stars music greats Neil Young and Willie Nelson. It premiered on Thursday at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin.
“We made this in the spirit of fun,” she said in an interview at South by Southwest, which closed on Sunday. The film streams on Netflix this month.
Hannah, 57, whose career includes memorable roles in 1984’s “Splash” and the “Kill Bill” films in 2003 and 2004, welcomed moves in Hollywood to address sexual harassment and expand the influence of women in the movie industry.
“It is good that people are starting to at least acknowledge that there is an issue there and it is something that needs to be addressed,” she said.
Hannah made news late last year when she spoke out in a New Yorker magazine story along with several other female actors who accused movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault
Weinstein, co-founder of the Miramax studio, was one of Hollywood’s most powerful men before more than 70 women accused him of sexual misconduct, including rape. He has denied having nonconsensual sex with anyone.
Multiple accusations of sexual misconduct have been leveled against male actors, filmmakers and agents, and fresh attention has been brought to lingering questions over racial and gender fairness inequality in Hollywood.
Women wanting to make films have a tough time finding financing and being taken seriously, Hannah said, and when a female-driven movie does well, it is seen as a one-off.
But, she said, the tide may be turning.
“It is a patriarchal system that is beginning to feel a little bit that its foundation is being chipped away,” she said.
“After ‘Kill Bill,’ I never got another movie meeting. Not even a meeting or an offer,” Hannah added.
“It was a great role, and crickets,” she said, meaning silence. “Some of that had to do with Harvey and his bad mouthing.”
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Sandra Maler)