Nicole Kidman has said she sees it as her job to use her position of influence to hire and empower female directors, including on the new series of Big Little Lies.
British filmmaker Andrea Arnold has directed the second season of the hit drama starring Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, which is expected to air next year and will see Meryl Streep join the cast.
She takes over the role from Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallee, who directed all the episodes of the first series.
Arriving at the European premiere of her new movie Destroyer at the BFI London Film Festival, she told the Press Association: “I feel it’s important to go, ‘I want a woman to direct this’.
“Obviously I have given performances with male directors that I am so proud of and that I love and I love working with men but there is not enough female directors, we all know that, the statistics are right there, they are facts, so to be in a position where I can help change them or just slightly change them, that is my job right now and I really take it seriously.
“I’m fortunate to be in the position where I can say, ‘We want Andrea Arnold to direct Big Little Lies 2’ or, ‘I want to do this film with Karyn Kusama (who directed Destroyer), can we get the financing for it?’
“That wasn’t like that 20 years ago.”
Kidman added that she had invited Arnold to join her at the London premiere of her new film, saying: “I got her out of the editing room, she is editing Big Little Lies right now.”
In Destroyer, Kidman plays a traumatised police detective reconnecting with people from a past undercover assignment, which required a complete physical transformation.
She said: “The way you meet Erin has to be true to the physicality, you can’t have white teeth if you’ve been drinking and taking drugs your whole life.
“You have a body that moves in a particular way or skin that looks a particular way when you’ve lived a life that Erin has lived.
“I wanted an authentic rendition and representation of a woman who sleeps in her car, who is an alcoholic, who has made really, really tough choices in her life and is paying the consequences.”
She added: “I just felt her and I felt sadness and pain for her and I also thought there was restlessness and complexity to her anger which I thought I had never seen on screen, particularly in the form of a female, and that was interesting to me.”
Destroyer is due to be released in UK cinemas on January 25 2019.