A dynamo within the film industry, Brie Larson is a producer, artist, and award-winning actress. She also happens to be an introvert.
During a recent appearance at Tina Brown’s Women of the World conference, the “Captain Marvel” star overturned the notion that women can’t have a real standing in the film industry, or anywhere else.
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Confronting the disenfranchisement of women in the film industry head-on, the 29-year old starlet had a few words of advice for young women striving for more.
On demanding more of your paycheck
“Money is actually something I’m excited to talk about. It’s this ‘thing’ that people think of as very ‘icky.’ But that’s the trap. They make you feel icky about it so that you don’t ask for what you deserve. You know what that number is inside.
“Don’t demand more for yourself if that makes you feel weird. Do it for the women who come after you. Do it for the future you.”
On dealing with unnecessary pressure
“I’m desperately introverted. There’s a cost to my job. As women, we tend to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves. For me, I don’t think pressure does anything. I don’t think I need it.
“I don’t feel pressure because I understand the history of the film industry – it started with women actors and filmmakers. So the idea that women can’t be important to storytelling, or that the female story is not high art, is bogus. I refuse to buy into it.
I’m grateful to have helped to break the glass ceiling by normalizing the concept that women can also make a billion dollars. I don’t know why that was so hard to comprehend in the first place.
On separating your career self from your true self
“After winning [ an Academy Award ] I had to get on a plane out to Vietnam. When I arrived, I was completely alone. I thought to myself: did I even experience that? It felt unreal. Then I had this sinking feeling when I realized I was still, very much, myself. I didn’t feel exceptional, or that I was a better actor or person for having had the experience.
“While it certainly helped my industry understanding of who I am, it didn’t change me personally. There’s a distinct separation between the career self and who you really are.
On projecting confidence
“Society already tells us how to think, feel and dress. I’m certainly not going to do this in film – I want the audience to decide what resonates for them. Films are a way for me to share my work as an introverted person …
“… Being a kid is the best. The intuition of a child is quite pure. Every film that I produce has to do with a sort of connecting with that inner child that got me to this point in my career. Being a teenager in the film industry, I had to learn very quickly to choose myself.
“I realized that it was a ridiculous situation I was placed in. There was always a discord between what the film industry projected confidence to look like, and what I felt most confident wearing. You can’t tell me how to dress and expect me to act a certain way. That’s why I began to design my own clothes so that I had an outfit that made me feel like I was in control, rather than having people dictate this to me.
“My hope is that more people can walk around just knowing that they’re right. If we had that, we’d be moving a little bit more quickly.”
On turning failure into currency
“I’m really not afraid of falling on my face because I’ve done it my whole life. If I have any sort of privilege, I immediately want to spend it.
“Whatever that currency is, I’m spending it immediately. I’m not putting it into an account and hoping it makes more money. I want to spend it because we need the change, now.”
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