indy100 caught up with Miss L in 2016, who had much to say about the sorry state of affairs.
What is the most common casting call you get, as a woman actor?
As a woman, casting calls are nearly always centred around how you look.
So often, I see casting calls where the male character is described by the job they do and their personality whereas the female character is all about how attractive they are.
I've seen casting calls that have explicitly asked for women to be the eye candy for the production, they've actually used that phrase.
Have you been in any strange situations as a result of a casting call?
I did once have to do an audition in a bikini where I had to run up and down a church hall for a solid 15 minutes so the production team could see how my body moved.
I turned up to one to be lead down into the director's very dark basement for the audition, that was pretty terrifying.
The representation of women has always been a sour point in Hollywood.
Some effort seems to have been made to racially diversify the film industry (John Boyega as Finn, Star Wars) and the #OscarsSoWhite campaign has at least highlighted the lack of recognition and opportunity for actors of colour, but the state of women in film continues to be stuck in the 1960s.
Prevalent sexist attitudes are glaringly obvious when one peruses casting websites, which is exactly what Miss L did.
There were a few particularly awful ones:
Like the "strong female" character (has there ever been a "strong male" casting call?)...
This person will be a funny and warm person, but also a stereotypical women [sic]. So they will be all girly and scared of diffrnt things [sic].
Acting summed up in one casting call:
Requirements for the main actress: beautiful and confident smile good body shape size S or XS size
Also, check out the requirements (and experience) necessary for the male role:
This "feminist” role:
Prefer an actor who is not thin! It's a great role for a feminist!
And don't forget:
Large breasts are somewhat essential
So how can female actors actually succeed in such a sexist industry?
It's incredibly difficult when you're starting out as you just want to work and you don't want to be viewed as difficult but it's about going with your instincts because, if something doesn't feel right, there's probably a reason for that.