Sandra Bullock credits Netflix with new life in her career; Here’s how streaming is empowering Hollywood women

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Not only has Netflix helped revitalize Sandra Bullock’s career, but it has also pushed the filmographies of several other aging actresses to ensure they continue to be prolific and able to play meaty, complex, and interesting characters on screen.

Sandra Bullock in The Unforgivable.

In the Let’s Talk About Women column, Sneha Bengani looks at film, the world of entertainment and popular media through a feminist lens. Because it matters. Because it’s needed. And because we don’t do it enough.

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During the premiere of her latest Netflix film the unforgivable, Sandra Bullock credited the streaming giant with her career revival.

The 57-year-old star recounted The Hollywood Reporter, “Without Netflix, a lot of people wouldn’t be working. Their stories would not be told. Who would have thought that as a woman I would still be working at this point? I would have been out in the cow pasture.”

Bullock’s career in particular received a major boost following the huge success of her 2018 dystopian thriller birdhouse which became Netflix’s most viewed movie of all time until the recent release of Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot starer Red notice, which eventually dethroned him. Interesting, The Unforgivable got a lot of love too. So much so that it became the ninth most viewed song within 28 days of publication Original Netflix film any times.

As well as helping to revitalize Bullock’s career, the streamer has also pushed the filmographies of several other aging actresses to ensure they continue to be prolific and able to play meaty, complex and interesting characters on screen.

Take Jane Fonda for example. Netflix Grace and Frankie – at 82 [and counting] Episodes spanning seven seasons – gave the veteran actress a solid run at a time when most of her contemporaries were long since retired. At 84, Fonda is preparing for the release of Happiness, an animated fantasy comedy slated for release on Apple TV+ in February.

Sandra Bullock credits Netflix with the new lease on life in her career as she explains how streaming is empowering Hollywood women

Jane Fonda in Grace and Frankie

Right now, thanks to Netflix, Gillian Anderson is arguably in the most exciting phase of her 30-year acting career. Once known for her work in X-Files, the 53-year-old is currently popular with Millennials and Gen-Z as Jean Milburn sex education, with which she has been essaying since 2019. Anderson also played former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on the streamer’s premiere show The crown. Although she only appeared in six episodes of season four, her outstanding performance won her a Golden Globe, an Emmy, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Sandra Bullock credits Netflix with the new lease on life as she explains how streaming is empowering Hollywood women

Gillian Anderson in sex education

Robin Wright (55) and Laura Linney (57) have also gained enormous traction in recent years thanks to their Netflix shows. Claire Underwood from Play house of cards from 2013 to 2018 was a milestone in Wright’s career and made her the first woman to ever win the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for a show on a streaming platform. Linney has since appeared on two Netflix shows – ozark and stories of the city.

Netflix may be the industry leader, but it’s not the only streamer that has actively worked with veteran actresses. Other platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Apple TV+, and Disney+ have also followed suit. If you look at Jennifer Aniston’s outings over the past five years, they’ve all been on streaming platforms, except the yellow birds, the obscure festival film, her 2017 solo release. Netflix brought her slack filmography to life with two original films. dumplings (2018) and thriller (2019). The 52-year-old star then put on what is probably the best performance of her career since friends on Apple TV+ The morning show, for which she bagged a Screen Actors Guild Award as well as Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.

Sandra Bullock credits Netflix with the new lease on life as she explains how streaming is empowering Hollywood women

Jennifer Aniston on the morning show

Patricia Arquette, who won an Oscar for Richard Linklater’s 2014 coming-of-age drama childhood, hasn’t appeared in such a substantial way in a film since. But the 53-year-old star actress hasn’t let a lack of theatrical releases stop her. Your Netflix comedy Be different released in 2019. That same year, she also appeared in The Act, Hulu’s crime drama series. She is currently working on two shows for Apple TV+, one comedy and one crime.

Sandra Bullock credits Netflix with the new lease on life as she explains how streaming is empowering Hollywood women

Patricia Arquette in otherness

In a video that Netflix released with his Inclusion Report 2020, the first such attempt by a streamer, says Kabi Gishuru, director of Global Inclusion Recruiting Programs at Netflix, “It’s really important that we open the door to underrepresented people. Because as soon as we open the door for them, they will turn around and open the door for others.”

It’s true. Meryl Streep has long been the lone representative of women over 50 in Hollywood. But not anymore. We need a bigger table now. And a lot more chairs. Streep finally has company.

When she’s not reading books or watching movies, Sneha Bengani writes about them. She tweets at @benganiwrites.

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