Ocean’s 8 star Sandra Bullock has revealed she almost gave up her career in Hollywood after being subjected to sexist behaviour.
In an interview with USA Today, the actor said that when first starting her career she thought “there was no disparity, that everyone was equal, and I can do whatever a man can do.”
However, later Bullock said she experienced a “wake-up moment, where I was like, ‘What is this feeling? Why do I feel so [expletive] … ‘Oh, my God, I’m being treated this way because I have a vagina.'”
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Bullock didn’t explain exactly what incidents led to this realisation, but she did reveal their impact. “It was hard for me, because I walked with blinders on through life and got to where I (felt) like I was less than because I was a woman,” she said.
“And that was a hard pill to swallow. I had a lot of sadness from that. I was like, ‘Wow, maybe I need to step out of here. Maybe I need to do something else for a living.’ And that was in the middle of when I was getting work – I didn’t want to be a part of that world where there was that experience.”
Cate Blanchett, who appeared alongside Bullock in the interview, also said that she had questioned her worth in Hollywood, particularly regarding pay.
“I don’t think about my gender until those opportunities are not available to me or denied to me because of my gender,” Blanchett said.
“We do live in a capitalist society, so it’s like your worth is valued in monetary terms. You know what the poster’s going to look like, and you’re not being paid the same as the person you’ve got equal billing and screen time with, and you think, ‘Actually, that’s not right.’ ”
The two stars will feature in heist movie Ocean’s 8 – a spin-off of the Ocean’s films with George Clooney – alongside Rihanna, Helena Bonham-Carter, Anne Hathaway and James Corden.
Ocean’s 8 is released in cinemas on Monday 18 June