By Peter Sblendorio
New York Daily News
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The movie which is due out Friday serves as the fourth installment to the “Ocean’s” franchise, but the first to center on female characters.
The stars of “Ocean’s 8” are hopeful their female-led heist movie is only the beginning of a major shift in Hollywood.
The film, which centers on eight women who team up to rob New York’s glitzy Met Gala, comes during a #MeToo era where the world is calling for more empowering and dynamic roles for women.
Sarah Paulson, who stars as Tammy in the film, believes the current social and political climate makes “Ocean’s 8” feel especially significant.
“It is still an anomaly to have eight women in a movie like this,” Paulson told the Daily News at the film’s Upper West Side premiere Tuesday. “It’s a unique, extraordinary experience. So I feel a little bit like it’s worth still discussing, and hopefully, if the movie is successful, we can make more movies like this without ever having to qualify it or talk about it in terms of gender.”
The movie due out Friday serves as the fourth installment to the “Ocean’s” franchise, but the first to center on female characters. Sandra Bullock portrays Debbie Ocean, the sister of George Clooney’s protagonist in the first three films, Danny Ocean, who is the mastermind behind their high-stakes Manhattan heist.
Production for “Ocean’s 8” had already wrapped months before the #MeToo movement began to sweep the globe last October, but the movie is exactly what people are calling for right now, says co-writer Olivia Milch.
“We’re so thrilled that we’ve gotten to tell a story that is about a group of women enjoying themselves, accomplishing something together and delighting in what is possible in the world,” Milch, who penned the script with director Gary Ross, told The News. “We’re in a moment right now where audiences are really excited for that.”
Rapper and actress Awkwafina, who plays Constance in the film, says it felt “extremely empowering” to be in a movie like “Ocean’s 8,” which also stars Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling and Helena Bonham Carter.
The New York-born artist says the social movements that support women have signaled major changes within the industry.
“We’re more hyperaware of these issues,” Awkwafina, whose real name is Nora Lum, said Tuesday. “We’re more sensitive to the issues women go through. I think that’s only going to lead to a more progressive Hollywood. I feel like we’re moving in the right direction.
“There should be women in film,” she said. “There should be authentic women in film, there should be authentic stories about women in film. This is what should happen.”