Previously on NerdLush~ we spoke to Amelia Tyler about her work as a voice actress. Here’s part 2 of that interview! In this episode were going to learn a bit about Amelia’s favorite films and what draws her to watch something, as well as discuss the sexual power revolution that has and is still happening on-screen (and Off).
NerdLush~ Describe your average character.
Amelia~ Hmmm… I’d say ‘someone with a lot going on inside her head’. I don’t necessarily mean your classic geek – often I play baddies and bitches, but they’re always the intelligent, knowing kind. Also, vampires. It’s something about the eyes, I think. Yeah, my job can be a lot of fun!
NerdLush~ Let’s move to a different area- what genres are you a fan of?
Amelia~ Ooh, well I’m a huge fan of sci-fi and fantasy and I’m also a bit of a horror nut. Anything with vampires or zombies in it and I’m there! Horror films don’t tend to scare me much, though – I’m still on the lookout for one that can. Aside from that, any drama with truly great acting in it. Game of Thrones has blown my mind recently. Tyrion Lannister NEEDS to marry me.
NerdLush~ What is your favorite action movie? Why? What is it that draws you in?
Amelia~ Hmmm… tricky one. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite but I really enjoyed ‘Taken’ because it was so unusual. I think I’ve got a bit bored of watching muscle-bound beefcakes smacking people in the face and blowing stuff up – I like something a little more subtle, where my expectations of what makes a hero are challenged. I suppose that’s what really draws me in: a charismatic lead who’s got something slightly different about him/her. Also,IronMan.*breathy sigh*
NerdLush~ What movie do you have to watch every time it airs?
Amelia~ ‘Bladerunner’ – it’s my all-time favourite movie. I also watch ‘Girl Interrupted’ quite frequently because Angelina Jolie’s performance in it just melts my mind with inspiration fire. She also needs to marry me.
NerdLush~ How do you feel about the portrayal of women in movies and TV?
Amelia~ In general? Pretty damned good! Yeah, most of them are sexy as hell and that might sometimes feel like a bit of a pressure to the average woman out there, but I don’t see why that should be a negative thing unless the sexy woman in question is devoid of a brain and has no ‘real’ aspects to her character. I think that classic sexiness is something that a lot of women shy away from or disapprove of because they’re intimidated by it, or because they think it’s just for the benefit of a man, but in reality it’s incredibly powerful and freeing. I’m a firm believer in the power of embracing your sexuality, whether you’re a man or a woman.
NerdLush~ How do you feel about the marketing of movies and other entertainment towards women? Think about that recent Dr. Pepper ad with the tagline, “it’s not for women”, that showed action movie type background… funny or offensive? Or both?
Amelia~ I haven’t seen that ad so I can’t really comment on it, but it sounds pretty tongue-in-cheek. You know what offends me more than that kind of thing, though? The supposed ‘feminist reaction’ to sexism in the media. So many times my TV will be hijacked by a commercial where a woman sits in the garden, sipping coffee with her friend, while her husband attempts to put up fence or something in the background. The ladies chat for most of the ad, then the punchline is that the bloke drops the fence on his toe and the women roll their eyes and go ‘Cuh! Men!’. I’m sorry, are his attempts to improve your home interfering with your hefty schedule of caffeine ingestion and idle chit-chat?! Put down the macchiato and help him, you lazy, self-important cow!
To me feminism isn’t ‘women vs men’, it’s ‘all of us in this together, being generally nice people and not judging each other based on something as totally irrelevant as our genitalia’. It still baffles me that some people still think it’s about winning, not equality itself.
NerdLush~ In the last 20 years, we’ve seen women in action roles go from cheesy to fun to powerful- think VIP or Sheena on TV, to Buffy and the ladies of Smallville, to Lara Croft. What do you think is behind the shift and the acceptance? Or has it not been accepted fully? Is the damsel in distress no more?
Amelia~ Well, the shift really started much earlier than that, didn’t it? Look at Sigourney Weaver in ‘Alien’, which came out in ’79. Is she powerful? Hell yes. Is she traditionally sexy? No, but she’s still sexy. I think that the transition’s only just fully becoming obvious because of how unequal things were to start out with. In 1912 women didn’t even have the right to vote so in under a century we’ve come a hell of a long way. Changes like that are always going to take time.
It’s more interesting to see the shift as a whole, though. It’s not just women’s gender roles that have changed, it’s men’s too. Way back when it went like this:
WOMEN: Who the hell’s going to save you if you just go ahead and save yourself?! You think your boyfriend wants to feel like a wimp? Now drop that hammer and put some lipstick on, woman!
MEN: Show no weakness. NONE! Men are strong. Men can do ANYTHING. Grrrrr! Stop crying! BALSAM TISSUES? You should be using SANDPAPER! GRRRRR!
I don’t kid myself that the stereotypes will ever stop existing entirely – we are all still animals at the end of the day and, generally speaking, there tend to be basic differences between the sexes – but we seem to be moving towards a place where the psychological boundaries are more fluid, and that can only be a good thing.
Sexual equality’s progressed hugely in recent years and we’re now seeing a lot of extremely strong, intelligent, sexy female leading characters. I think what’s important now is to make sure that those characters are still real and flawed, not just smart as hell supervixens who can shoot a gun and take out an evil corporation while simultaneously holding down the perfect relationship. Where’s the reality in that? These characters should be role models, not the unattainable visions of absolute perfection that we’re bombarded with every day on magazine covers and adverts. I think that’s the next step in the evolution – men and women being seen as powerful figures because of their personalities. Let’s face it, if someone has to be ‘perfect’ in order to be sexy then the human race is doomed! Embracing those imperfections, and the confidence that comes from doing that – actually LIKING yourself – is what makes someone truly sexy.
(Well said, Amelia!)
NerdLush~ Thinking about strong and powerful women… who inspires you? And why?
Amelia~ Well, it’s a bit of a cliché these days for a girl to have a crush on Angelina Jolie but I’ll have to hold my hands up to that one – I really respect her ability to make difficult, unusual choices and to stand up for her somewhat unconventional view of the world without feeling the need to get militant about it. Also, Caitlin Moran, whose views on feminism totally blew my mind when I first read her book ‘How To Be A Woman’. More than anything, though, I get inspired by women I meet in real life – those rare gems who refuse to conform to stereotypes and are, like me, brutally honest about their own psychology (and a little bit naughty with it!). I love women who don’t take life too seriously and can’t be bothered with all the drama that many seem to thrive on. Life’s too short for all that nonsense!
Many thanks to Amelia for her time and great answers!