THE WEEK IN WOMEN news roundup: Geena Davis celebrates 25th anniversary of ‘A League of Their Own,’ while Alicia Silverstone reflects on the legacy of ‘Clueless’

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Geena Davis stars in 1992's "A League of Their Own." Columbia PIctures photo

Geena Davis stars in 1992′s “A League of Their Own.” Columbia PIctures photo

A year after reflecting on the legacy of “Thelma and Louise,” Oscar winner and activist Geena Davis is celebrating the 25th anniversary of “A League of Their Own.”

Directed by Penny Marshall, “A League of Their Own” was released July 1, 1992, and unfortunately, it’s still a rarity: a female-centered sports movie.

“When it came out, I noticed there was so much prognosticating that this would change everything. Now that there’s been a tremendous hit, a very successful movie starring women, there were going to be so many female sports movies. And I particularly noticed that because when I had done “Thelma and Louise,” which came out a year earlier, it was the same thing, the press was saying, this changes everything. There are going to be so many female road pictures, female buddy pictures, just more movies starring women because it struck such a nerve. And neither prediction proved to be true whatsoever,” Davis said in a Los Angeles Times interview.

Starring in “A League of Their Own,” recently released in a special Blu-ray edition, changed her life in that it was her first experience playing a sport. She a trustee of the Women’s Sports Foundation for 10 years and eventually took up archery, becoming a semi-finalist at the Olympic trials.

“It was very pivotal to my life in multiple ways. One was experiencing the reaction of young girls to the movie and so many girls and young women saying, “I took up sports because of that movie.” I still have the same number of girls and women telling me they play sports because of that movie now as I did then. It’s like a rite of passage to see this movie. It’s got remarkable longevity,” said Davis, who is founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and co-founder of Arkansas’ Bentonville Film Festival.

Although the number of films about women and especially made by women remains discouragingly low, Davis said women in the industry are becoming more vocal about addressing Hollywood inequalities.

“There is definitely far more talk about it now than back then. I even felt some compunction to not complain about not having enough parts, saying, ‘Oh I’m just taking a vacation or a break,’ or ‘I’m just really fussy.’ Which I am, but don’t ever admit that there aren’t enough parts or you might seem unpopular. But now, as we see, so many of my peers and myself are talking about it and bringing it up, saying, ‘Hey I’m not getting paid equally,’ ‘hey, there’s not enough parts,’ [rather] than, ‘I was turned down because I was too old at 36.’ And definitely that has changed, though whether that will create more change we have yet to see,” she said.

Alicia Silverstone reflects on the legacy of ‘Clueless’

In a recent interview with Variety, Alicia Silverstone reflected on the legacy of her enduring 1995 hit “Clueless,” including the fact that it almost didn’t get made because one film studio didn’t think anyone would care to watch a movie about a teenage girl.

Silverstone said she was in Paris shooting the 1995 drama “The New World” when she received a fax from director Amy Heckerling, informing her that “Clueless” wouldn’t be made after all.

“One studio said no to it, they didn’t think anyone was interested in watching a movie about a young girl,” Silverstone recalled. “Those people now kick themselves that they were not part of that film. They were like, ‘We don’t think anybody is going to care. It’s not going to sell tickets.’”

After Fox put “Clueless” in turnaround, Scott Rudin came to the rescue, set it up at Paramount Pictures, and the movie found its way to the big screen, where it became a big hit that changed Silverstone’s life.

In May, Silverstone attended a screening of “Clueless” at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with 400 fans. It was the first time her 6-year-old son saw the film.

“We were laying under the stars,” Silverstone said. “Seeing it on the screen like that was an incredible thing to share with my son and go, ‘Wow I’m really proud of that.’ I’m proud of all the work on the screen, all the different artists who created that. Super proud.”

While we’re on the subject, let’s add Heckerling to the list of women directors – along with “Deep Impact’s” Mimi Leder and “Wonder Woman’s” Patty Jenkins – who haven’t made nearly enough movies despite their successes.

Silverstone is promoting her new TV series “American Women,” which will debut next year on the Paramount Network. The show is based on “Real Housewives” star Kyle Richards’ mom’s life, set in 1970s after a painful divorce. Mena Suvari plays a girlfriend who moves in with Silverstone’s character.

Jennifer Lawrence stars in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2." Lionsgate photo

Jennifer Lawrence stars in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.” Lionsgate photo

Jennifer Lawrence, Zoe Saldana to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Zoe Saldana, seven-time Grammy-winning country singer (and occasional actor) Carrie Underwood, “The Beguiled” star Kirsten Dunst, TV “Wonder Woman” Lynda Carter,  Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson, “The X-Files” star Gillian Anderson, TV producer and showrunner Shonda Rhimes, Queen of Hip Hop Soul Mary J. Blige and animated icon Minnie Mouse are among the celebrities selected to receive stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018.

As I reported on my BAM’s Blog, “Hamilton” mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Star Wars” star Mark Hamill, Oscar nominee Nick Nolte, crooner Harry Connick Jr., comedic actor Jack Black, “Jurassic Park” star Jeff Goldblum, rappers Ice T and Snoop Dogg, Tony and Emmy winner Mandy Patinkin, parody master “Weird Al” Yankovic and the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin also will be added to the iconic walk next year.

Entertainment professionals can receive stars in the categories of Motion Pictures, Television, Live Theatre/Live Performance, Radio and Recording.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame Class of 2018 are:

In the category of MOTION PICTURES: Jack Black, Kirsten Dunst, Jeff Goldblum, F. Gary Gray, Mark Hamill, Jennifer Lawrence, Gina Lollobrigida, Minnie Mouse, Nick Nolte and Zoe Saldana

In the category of TELEVISION: Anthony Anderson, Gillian Anderson, Lynda Carter, Simon Cowell, RuPaul Charles, Taraji P. Henson, Eric McCormack, Ryan Murphy, Niecy Nash, Mandy Patinkin, Shonda Rhimes, and posthumous Steve Irwin

In the category of RECORDING: Mary J. Blige, Sir Richard Branson, Petula Clark, Harry Connick, Jr., Ice T, Snoop Dogg, Carrie Underwood and “Weird Al” Yankovic

In the category of RADIO: Steve Jones

In the category of LIVE THEATRE/LIVE PERFORMANCE:   Charles Aznavour, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and posthumous Bernie Mac

Dates have not been scheduled for these star ceremonies. Recipients have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection before they expire. Upcoming star ceremonies are usually announced 10 days prior to dedication on the official website, www.walkoffame.com.

-BAM

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