The panel opened by introducing the Ass-Kickers:
Connie Neilson (Queen Hippolyta, Wonder Woman (2017)), Ming-Na Weh (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D), Morena Baccarin (Gotham, Deadpool), Melissa Benoist (Supergirl), Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), Tatian Maslany (Orphan Black) and Lucy Lawless (Ash vs Evil Dead).
They discussed badass lines and the most outrageous outfits they’ve been asked to wear during a fierce scene.
Fighting in high heels was overwhelming agreed upon as annoying:
“When I read it in the script, I was so terrified that I had to fight in lingerie, but it was the best thing beacuse I was bare-footed!” Ming-Na Wen explained. Iconic.
Among the topics discussed were roles the ladies may have had to take in the past that they are not particularily proud of. Ming-Na Wen got really real when pointing out that roles for women have often been limited, and as a working professional she’s had to take jobs “to pay the rent”. Her sentiment was backed by Lawless, who expressed the concerns of actressess after givig birth – not getting cast.
The women all agreed, each sharing stories that reminded the audience that these actresses don’t simply portray stong women on screen, but emulate hard work and passion in their careers and personal lives; making a name for yourself in showbiz is no small undertaking.
However, Benoist and Emmanuel were quick to mention that they were not apologetic for their less-successful roles, because they all provided learning experiences.
“What it takes to be an actress, is to survive it. Is to go through the famine and be able to then celebrate like we are today…to do parts that inspire or give joy to our audience” said Wen.
“I played a semi-lesbian ballet dancer who killed someone with a statue of a piano”, Benoist laughs, but she claims this is one of the roles responsable for her transition from theatre to television. Not everything was fun and games, however, as the political side of women in media did not go unaddressed. Maslany said of this “I watch things with a real critical eye and I’m very aware of the ramifications of our [women’s] presence, alone [in media]…whether our role is empowering or unempowering, that there’s a real pressure on those things to be upheld”.
Maslany was, as she is in all her interviews, eloquent and insightful. Her encouragement of young girls to closely examine their representation in media is exactly what society needs right now, and it took a kickass lady to finally say it.
Overall, the discussions were eloquent, witty and positive; perfectly portraying the reason that these actressess were chosen for the “Women Who Kick Ass” Panel. Their grace, intelligence and diplomacy qualify them each for the title of Kickass Lady, and, as pointed out by an audience member, qualify them to be rolemodels for the upcoming generation.