(Ryan’s article appeared in Variety, 4/7; via Pam Green.)
TV viewers and moviegoers don’t see character introductions in scripts, but they’re enormously important. These short descriptions — usually just a line or two of text — provide a template for an actor attempting to create a portrait of a vibrant, unique, multidimensional human being.
Well, that’s the theory, anyway. Perusing scripts in his job as a film producer, Ross Putnam often found something else — especially when it came to female characters.
The descriptions contained little other than words like “leggy,” “erotic” and “alluring.” And, of course, there’s the ubiquitous “beautiful.”
Frustrated by the inherent sexism he found, Putnam created the Twitter feed @FemScriptIntros to share those character introductions with a wider audience. Spend some time reading his feed, and it’s hard not to wonder why actresses don’t quit the business en masse.