‘Backwards and in Heels’ is my first book, published in August 2017 by Mango Publishing. The title refers to a quote about Ginger Rogers, how she did everything Fred Astaire did, only backwards and in high heels. And that to me was the perfect metaphor for women in film, Because women have always been instrumental in Hollywood, accomplishing and creating right alongside the men… they just had more obstacles to overcome.
I wanted to write this book to share quick stories of some of these incredible women. The ones who shaped American cinema into what it is today. From the very first women in Hollywood, like Alice Guy Blache, one of the first filmmakers in the world. Or Helen Holmes, an actress slash director slash stuntwoman who starred in her own serials. There was Dorothy Arzner, the only female director in the 1930s, who also invented the boom microphone. And Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American woman to win an Oscar, who was banned from sitting with her ‘Gone With The Wind’ co-stars due to segregation. These women paved the way for more, like director and actress Ida Lupino, inventor Hedy Lamarr, action star Pam Grier and the group of filmmakers who took the studios to court in the 1980s over gender discrimination.
I was also lucky enough to do exclusive interviews with today's cinema trailblazers, such as Geena Davis, Ava DuVernay, J.J. Abrams, Octavia Spencer, America Ferrera, Paul Feig and more. They each told me about the work they're doing inside Hollywood to try and change it. Then I look into the future, about whether I’m truly optimistic for gender equality.
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