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The Hollywood Reporter Roundtable: The Actresses *

I love this time of year! When the year is fresh and shiny and our new year's resolutions are still intact and The Hollywood Reporter does all its roundtables with the people that make the movies we love. Or hate. It doesn't matter; it makes for fascinating conversation anyway.
What I hate? Pictures like this! Why are Amy Adams and Julianne Moore standing on actual 'pedestals'? Why is Reese Witherspoon standing on a desk? And what's the deal with Hillary Swank's awkward leg revealing pose?  Ugh! The final cover shot is an improvement — but Reese is still on a pedestal!

Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Hilary Swank, Patricia Arquette, Felicity Jones

For today's Slacker Sunday video we have the women. Six amazing actresses; five established American artists of the highest caliber —Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Hilary Swank (The Homesman), Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern (Wild), Amy Adams (Big Eyes) and Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) — plus Felicity Jones who is a fairly new-to-our-shores British actress who shone opposite Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything. 

Last Sunday we had a listen to what some of this year's leading men had to say; it was an intriguing gathering with three Brits — Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) and Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner) and three Americans, Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher), Michael Keaton (Birdman), and Ethan Hawke (Boyhood). Maybe it's just me but the men's roundtable really felt like a study in contrasts with the Americans going out of their way to show their Yankee spirit - casual, confident, brash, almost as if they had to overcompensate for the Brits and their drama vibe that makes Americans feel they just can't compete with these guys that grew up living and breathing Shakespeare.

I haven't seen Big Eyes and The Horseman yet but I've seen and loved all the rest. What struck me about the The Hollywood Reporter's Roundtable for the women was how much more personal they were,  part of that is due to the moderator, Matthew Belloni, being so much more the type of person to put you at your ease vs Stephen Galloway who seems to set everyone on edge. During the men's roundtable Galloway made a crack about only the British actors speaking English properly, and Cumberbatch said something like, let's not get started with that shit but that's just the kind of thing Galloway loves to do. He's a snooty interviewer who has no interest in getting people to open up, he'd much rather score points. At one point in the interview, Ethan Hawke is trying to compliment Michael Keaton, saying how inspired he was as a young actor by Keaton's early work. Galloway barely let him finish and moved on to another question. Later on Keaton made a point of thanking Hawke — first saying to Galloway, with a touch of his hand on Galloway's wrist — "I know you don't like warmth "— then letting Hawke know how genuinely touched he was by Hawke's earlier comment. It clearly meant a lot to him. Galloway just sat and sneered, as he does.

Anywaaaaay — I'm sure you'll enjoy this roundtable as much as I did. The women talk about all sorts of things, embarrassing experiences at auditions, activism, what they love about acting and more.
Some of my favorite takeaways were Hilary Swank talking about all people being interesting, and that 'everyone doesn't show all their colors when you first meet them.' I like that she appreciates the slow burners. Julianne Moore talked about learning to let go and that 'a feeling can't kill you.'And Laura Dern, who is so clearly the nurturing giver type, when asked what advice she found most helpful recalled her third grade teacher's mantra "Keep your eyes on your own paper."
Good advice for all of us.