Blake Lively doesn’t think it’s fair that Ryan Reynolds gets to play “unlikable” characters
Since the topic of sexism in the film industry has become something that people are finally shedding light on, we’re so happy that Blake Lively discussed double standards with film roles. In her eyes, women are limited to a certain type of role while men get to take on “unlikable” characters that still seem charming to an audience.
Lively opened up about it during an appearance on “In The Limelight,” a podcast run by Vanity Fair. She made sure to include the fact that her husband, Ryan Reynolds, is a good example of the roles men can pull off.
"I mean, my husband plays a**holes [but], you go, 'He's so charming.' Because he is likable," Lively said. "Or you look at Harrison Ford as Han Solo and he's like, 'Get over here, sweetheart,' and you just sort of [think], 'Whoo, it's so exciting and romantic and titillating.' It's because he's charming and he's loving and he's not some sexist a**hole. But, you don't see that and think, 'Oh, that guy's not likable.'"
In Lively’s eyes, if she took on an “a**hole” role, she’d be dubbed as unlikable.
She pinpointed that if a man said a line, the audience would react one way. If a woman said that same line, her character wouldn’t be someone you’d necessarily root for.
"They would never let you say that line because the note would always be, 'Oh, you just have to make sure she's likable,'" Lively added.
She brought up her role in her latest film, The Rhythm Section. In it, her character deals with prostitution and drug abuse. But she noted that since nobody wants to see a male character “be grossed out by her,” she still needs to portray someone who’s “tragically sexy” to sell the character. But in reality, someone in her character’s shoes likely wouldn’t have those characteristics.
We applaud Lively for speaking up about it. Hopefully with time, women will be able to take on roles that are a bit more daring and realistic — even if it makes them unlikable.