The Hollywood Reporter’s Actress Roundtable Panel Discuss Hollywood, the Media, and the #MeToo Movement

Kwaku Alston/The Hollywood Reporter

This year’s panelists; Awkwafina, Laura Dern, Renee Zellweger, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lopez, and Lupita Nyong’o, opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about their personal experiences.

Kwaku Alston/The Hollywood Reporter

These women shared their experiences with Hollywood, the media, and the #MeToo Movement during The Hollywood Reporter’s Annual Actress Roundtable. The women, who have all respectively acted in drama films this past year, discussed a variety of topics including impostor syndrome, the hyper-sexualization of actresses and female characters in films, female inclusivity in Hollywood, and navigating the media in the aftermath of the #MeToo Movement, but focused mostly on their overall desire to put on a show as actresses.

Kwaku Alston/The Hollywood Reporter

Jennifer Lopez, who recently starred in the film, Hustlers, simply summarized the panel’s common desire by stating that, “That’s what we do. We perform, we go out there, whether it’s in front of 50,000 people on the stage, or in front of 300 guys on set, we’ve got to perform. You’ve got to do it.”

Kwaku Alston/The Hollywood Reporter

Laura Dern, who starred in the film Marriage Story with fellow panelist Scarlett Johansson, as well as in the eighth film adaptation of Little Women, spoke about the stylistic differences in directing with directors Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig, who are partners in real life. Watch the clip below to see more of what she had to say about the two.

The actresses also discussed their experiences on set with directors as Lupita Nyong’o spoke about the work that she has done with underrepresented directors such as Get Out and Us director, Jordan Peele, and Black Panther director, Ryan Coolger.

Kwaku Alston/The Hollywood Reporter

Jennifer Lopez spoke about a time in which a director asked her to remove her top during a fitting. In regards to this situation, Lopez said she stood up for herself and a little bit of the Bronx came out when she sternly told the director, “I don’t have to show you my — No. On the set, you see them.”

Kwaku Alston/The Hollywood Reporter

Aside from directors, Johansson spoke about the criticism that she faced over her role in Marvel films, stating that she had a hard time understanding the statements that had been made about her and Nyong’o’s participation in the films, but that she could understand as to why directors may not like blockbuster films as they disallow smaller films to be acknowledged in theaters.

Kwaku Alston/The Hollywood Reporter

Renee Zellweger, who recently portrayed actress and singer Judy Garland in Judy, spoke during the roundtable with Lopez about their experiences with portraying other celebrities in films, stating that she never felt a disconnect from Judy Garland while on set and that filming for the movie felt more like a celebration of who Garland was.

Kwaku Alston/The Hollywood Reporter

Awkafina, a newcomer in dramatic films and who recently starred in The Farewell, spoke about the pressure that she felt to perform and her worries about how the film’s audience would perceive her, sharing that she was very scared by the pressure but ultimately felt that she as a person related to the character that she was portraying.

You can read more of the panel’s commentary here and observe their grace in speaking about the industry. We can’t wait to see what next year’s panel will have to say about women in Hollywood.