Geena Davis: Winning an Oscar didn't change my career


Geena Davis believes her Oscar win did nothing for her career.

The 64-year-old movie star won her first golden statuette for Best Supporting Actress in 1989 for her performance in 'The Accidental Tourist' - but she was left disappointed when her achievement wasn't acknowledged by producers.

Speaking to People magazine, she explained: "Winning the Oscar ... makes you feel incredible and appreciated. But I don't know that it changes your career.

"I really don't know if anybody hired me because of the Oscar after that."

Geena would also watch other iconic actresses take home coveted awards, thinking it would change the movie business.

But she soon realised it "didn't change anything" for them either.

She recalled: "When I first started out, was a time when every year at the Oscars Meryl Streep, Jessica Lange, Glenn Close and Sally Field were nominated for these incredible movies starring them and getting awards.

"I'd heard the concept that women over 40 don't work, but I thought 'They're changing everything. This is how it's going to be, and I won't have to worry about anything.' And that didn't turn out to be true. It didn't really change anything."

Geena thought her role in several films that focused on female empowerment would help to change the industry for women.

However, after starring in 'Thelma & Louise' in 1991, she soon realised nothing would change.

She said: "My very next movie was 'A League of Their Own,' where they said the same thing, 'A giant hit with women playing sports - we're going to see so many more female sports movies,' and none of that happened.

"Some other movie would come along and do really well. 'First Wives Club' did really well, and I thought, 'Okay, well, now... ' And the numbers have never moved. And in fact, the ratio of male to female characters on screen in films has been exactly the same since 1946."

As a result, the actress created the Geena Davis Institute on Gender In Media in 2004, which seeks better roles for women in the TV and movie industries.

She added: "It finally has happened. We have just found, both that in kids' TV and kids' movies, we've reached gender parity with the lead characters - which is historic, it's never happened.

"It's been decades and decades where it was two-to-one, and now it's equal."