As a big supporter of strong women, Entertainment Weekly brought together some of entertainment’s most bad-ass females for a panel during San Diego Comic-Con. Moderated by EW’s Lynette Rice, the Women Who Kick Ass panel featured Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and the Beast, Smallville), Nikki Reed (Twilight, Breaking Dawn), Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead), Anna Torv (Fringe), Kristin Bauer van Straten (True Blood), and surprise guest Lucy Lawless (Spartacus) for a wide-ranging chat about stereotypes, the challenges that come with playing a tough woman, and…going to jail?! Read on for the highlights:
+ FREE LUCY Lawless, who was arrested in February after she and other activists protested aboard an oil-drilling ship in New Zealand, told the crowd that she’s not sure what will go down at her sentencing on Sept. 12, but admitted, “I am guilty — of trying to save the environment!” Massive cheers erupted.
+ WOMEN VS. WOMEN? With many hurdles facing females in entertainment, Callies said she hates that women are “taught that we’re competition for one another.” How to combat that? Camaraderie — like she experienced while working with Lawless on Tarzan. “I think the way forward with women is with women,” Callies said.
+ LOVE FOR SIGOURNEY WEAVER The panel credited Cate Blanchet and Girls‘ multi-hyphenate Lena Dunham as inspiration, but no one got more love than Weaver, to whom Lawless admitted she’d recently written a “fan letter.”
+ KRISTEN KREUK ‘MOVING OUT’ OF ACTING? No. But she’s definitely branching out. “Making our own projects and making sure that there are writers and producers that are women will [allow us] to tell stories that are true to us.” The actress added she’s recently created a production company with a friend that will focus on making “movies that have women in them that I want to see made…. I’d like to move out of acting at some point,” she said.
+ NIKKI REED ON BODY IMAGE In one of the panel’s most candid moments, Reed brought up the issue of body image and admitted that there were “specific instances in my career where it was talked about more than it should be…. I think all of us would be lying if we said it wasn’t something we don’t think about. I think we deal with the pressures on a greater scale than men do. It affects not just the roles you play, your career, and the choices you make, but also you as a person. I think we can all do without that.”
Other great moments:
+ Bauer van Straten strutting out with a piece of Pam’s Wal-Mart track suit.
+ “You don’t walk into that thinking ’25 years and a pension!’” — Callies on her character’s uncertain future, considering her show is called The Walking Dead
+ The panelists’ horrified faces after Lawless explained her character’s gruesome final moments in the Spartacus finale.
+ “Doing Smallville for eight years, I had a lot of skin-tight leather clothes. I think they wanted me in the tiniest skirts and bustiers. The character was 15-years-old, and they wanted her in red lace lingerie.” — Kreuk on her worst costume ever