'OITNB' Actress Alysia Reiner Discusses Her New Project 'Equity'

July 19, 20161. What do you want people to take away after seeing Equity

Here’s what I’d love to hear people say on the way out of the theater:

What a great thriller about current Wall Street.

Wow, so many complex issues about women in the workplace that all women encounter that I’ve never seen on film.

Amazing, I had no idea about some of those details about Wall Street, I feel like I learned so much without even trying.

No way, this was produced by, written by, directed by, production design, costume design, and starring women???

Shazam! These women were such badass complex characters in this film.

2. Is it important to make films with a strong woman lead? If so, why?

Because we, and our children, need to have media that represents us. The Geena Davis Institute has done extensive research, and reports that currently 77% of the characters (including muppets and cartoons) that we see in media—across all content—are men. Women then see ourselves as a minority, when in reality there are slightly more women on the planet. Also, we (women) rock.

3. In business, research shows women are nowhere near the path to parity with men when it comes to being in board seats and in CEO/executive-level positions. Would you agree there are similar challenges for women in Hollywood, particularly as it seems that an overwhelming majority of roles go to men?

The parallels can’t be denied. But honestly, I hate talking about it, I just want to change it. How? Come see this movie. Support female-driven media. Give Jason Bourne a run for his money. As cute as Matt is, don't worry, we have cute guys in our film too. Also, it’s just a really great thriller, and the first about current Wall Street: 2016. It’s complex, juicy, and there’s a great scene about the importance of chocolate.

4. What do you think about Hollywood's gender pay gap? Why are women getting paid less than men? 

Again, I’m a Pollyanna and love to make and talk about change. Heroes of mine like Jennifer Lawrence and Robin Wright have really helped bring some new transparency around this issue and push the needle, and that’s what we tried to do on Equity. Also, in our movie the women get paid just as much, if not more, than the men.

5. As an actress in Hollywood, what do you think about the Academy's recent decision to invite nearly 700 new class members (46% female and 41% people of color) in its push for diversity? 

What’s not to love? 

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