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Women Kick Ass at Comic-Con: Guys, Don't Mess with Michelle Rodriguez!

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 22, 2013 at 7:28PM

The actresses on the EW Women Who Kick Ass panel at Comic-Con started off soft and came on strong when moderator Sarah Vilkomerson asks them if they've ever experienced sexism on the job. Have they ever. It was like turning on a faucet as the women compared notes on surviving in what is still very much a man's world. They admitted that while they can act tough on-screen--and train hard to be able to embody what's on the written page--navigating the treacherous entertainment industry requires an equally valuable set of skills.

Tatiana Maslany in "Orphan Black"
Tatiana Maslany in "Orphan Black"

TM: I'd like to see more representation of queer culture as well. So many gay films are personal, make it universal, about humanity about the personal becoming universal. So it becomes just a given. I hope to see a lesbian character as a lead... That would be incredible.

DG: 'Orange Is the New Black' is created by women, it's an insanely large female ensemble. You get to see Latina actresses, we've not seen that yet, on TV. Black women, queer culture, different religions. It's an amazing ensemble of people. That's life, that shouldn't be new to us. 

MR: I see strong women in franchises... in a realistic setting for things that are possible and tangible, so she feels it's closer to her than these far away fantasy situations.

TM: Every single woman and man in this room has something about us that makes us special, regardless of what we've done... Strength comes in the revealing of flaws, vulnerabilities, and intellectual or emotional strength. 

DG: I'm deeply connected to stories want told on larger scale, things women can do, I want their stories to be known more. Three African women won the Nobel prize in Liberia, for a reason. They stood up against Charles Taylor in the diamond war madness. They refused to back down until something changed, they used their intricate powerful feminine ways to stand up: 'You men aren't leaving the room.' They made sure to fight what happened to women and children when men sat around and had good time and resolved nothing. We don't know these stories. I'd love to see them put out to the world, to deeply give girls more understanding of their own power. 

MQ: Strength is in what you do every day. When somebody helps you at hotel. Teachers and nurses are always everyday heroes for me..Men are dumb to think we'd fight in heels. I hate to go from a scene in a dress to a fight scene.

MR: There's five different movies there. Let's make all that content into one movie, and translate into emotions the things that would make guys cringe. Cool, seriously! Too emotional turns people off. They'd rather watch a bunch of people get killed in a massive action sequence. Jim Cameron is great at walking the line of emotion, heart and commercial filming. I hope people will be inspired to write and get out there and put our voice out there. [Women] need more content. Support it.

Danai Gurira in 'Walking Dead'
Danai Gurira in 'Walking Dead'

This article is related to: Women in Film, Tatiana Maslany, Michelle Rodriguez, Maggie Q, Comic-Con

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.