The #MeToo movement has taken Hollywood by a whim and today we are discussing the effects of the movement to the industry with an insider. Emily Seale-Jones, BAFTA nominated, London based director, writer and actor discusses her careers and changes she has been seeing in the industry.
- How did you get into acting?
My parents are both in film, my eldest brother is a focus puller and then my other older brother is a writer/ director, so from a young age I would do accents and impressions of characters from my dads films and so it came as no shock, as I got older, that I wanted to pursue acting. I attended a performing arts school on the weekends (as my parents were adamant that I stay in school rather than leaving to act full time) and whilst in an acting class I was scouted by an acting agent, from that point I began auditioning and have been acting ever since.
- What are some of your best memories through your career?
There are so many great memories. I have been so extraordinarily fortunate with the projects and people that I have worked with so its hard to pick… one feature I worked on (To Tokyo) was shot in Japan and South Africa. Japan is this surreal dream for me now, we had so many night shoots in Tokyo which was incredible and we went to Lake Biwa and actually went in the lake at night time (that was technically not allowed) and then were ‘found’ by the police, nothing serious happened but long story short our translator did end up having to run through the village butt naked in order to avoid them. Another great memory although less adventurous and interesting was being offered a role in a feature without having to audition, it was the third feature I’d worked on and the director knew my work and had a role for which I was his first choice. So having my agent call up and say that the role was mine if I wanted it was an incredible feeling.
- Do you find that women are treated differently to men on a film set?
That’s a hard question for me to answer. I think that often in life, very often (and I’m not just talking about being on a film set and I am only speaking from what I’ve experienced) women are treated differently than men. And I think that applies to being on a film set or being in a supermarket or walking down the street. Very often I am treated a certain way because of my gender; sometimes that specific treatment is not harmful and sometimes its extremely harmful. I think that change needs to happen all around us.
- How do you think that the #metoo movement has affected the industry?
I think the #metoo movement has been profound in changing the way in which I see my options as a female within this industry. I hope that women feel safe enough now to talk out about any sexual misconduct that has been inflicted upon them and to shout out loud if anyone dares to do anything to them now. Don’t get me wrong I don’t feel safe, but there has certainly been a shift. I think the #metoo movement has begun the change that this industry (and the rest) was painfully in need of.
- Can you tell us a little bit more about what you have coming up in the next few months?
I recently finished writing my first feature film and am working with my incredibly talented and wonderful producer Katie Dolan to get that made. I am about to finish on my second feature that I wrote for Blumhouse and am developing some pieces with Funny or Die. So a nice variety of thriller, horror and comedy! I am also developing a small theatre performance of a piece that I wrote and will act in this September in NYC with a phenomenal director, who I’ve worked with on two other shows, Glynis Rigsby.