"Little Women” actress Lea Thompson reflects: “It makes me so sad, all the opportunities I missed to stand up for myself”


Like plenty of other performers lately, actress and director Lea Thompson, who is currently starring in a film adaptation of “Little Women,” has seen her share of unprofessional behavior in Hollywood over the years. And like them, she's been speaking out about it.

But Thompson is also the mother of two rising Hollywood female stars — Zoey and Madelyn Deutch. How do you encourage a new generation in an industry that can be so difficult for women, especially when they're your own children? You give them the wisdom of your experience.

Reflecting now on her early days as an actress, Thompson recalls directors "making sexual advances at me when I was doing auditions,” Thompson told SalonTV’s Mary Elizabeth Williams on “Salon Talks.”

“They stole my power. I couldn't be strong, I didn't know how to get out of those situations. They stole my power for years and years. Because I was a cute, pretty girl, the power of that in our universe is so extreme that you're constantly trying to make men feel more comfortable around you,” Thompson said. “That took away from me being able to say what I felt and what I wanted and being direct with people. It makes me so sad, all the opportunities I missed to stand up for myself."

In contrast, Thompson says, "I've been so impressed by my daughters who don't have that experience, because of the work our generation has done and the work society has started to do. They aren't always trying to disarm people. They can say, 'Don't do that to me. I'm worthy. I have talent.'"

Click here to watch SalonTV’s full interview with Thompson and learn more about her role in “Little Women.” Subscribe to SalonTV’s YouTube Channel to watch SalonTV’s live interview and music shows “Salon Talks” and “Salon Stage,” airing daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. Click here to watch more “Salon Talks” interviews.

About “Salon Talks”: Hosted by Salon journalists, “Salon Talks” episodes offer a fresh take on the long-form interview format, and a much-needed break from the partisan political talking heads that have come to dominate the genre. “Salon Talks” is a destination for information through conversation. Viewers can expect discussions with A-list actors, artists, authors, thinkers, and newsmakers as we explore the full range of the human condition. The show streams live on YouTube and Salon.com.

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