Highlights from Power Women Summit 2022

Power Women Summit 2022!

Kenya Moore, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Claire Foy and Thuso Mbedu at TheWrap's Dec. 14 Power of Women Summit

Dear Diary,

Some call it the Coachella for women in Hollywood, others call it the Power Women Summit. Last week women from across the industry came together to learn from, celebrate and honor each other during WrapWomen’s annual two-day event. 

Day 1 kicked off with virtual conversations featuring Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, a special recording of the “UnWrapped” podcast with Julianne Hough and Nina Dobrev, a “View from the Director’s Chair” discussion with Lena Dunham, a “Next Gen Hollywood Roundtable” with the stars of “The White Lotus: Sicily,” “House of the Dragon” and more.

The day concluded with an evening celebrating TheWrap’s Changemakers of 2022 at The Proper Hotel in Santa Monica. Changemakers including “The Woman King” star Thuso Mbedu and director Gina Prince Bythewood chatted the night away with actress Niecy Nash, who snapped selfies with this year’s Voice of the Future Award Recipient Ambalika Williams.

Day 2, which took place at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica, featured a Keynote Address from Thuso, who couldn’t hold back tears during her speech. An activist woman who performed secret abortions in the 1960s took the stage with other abortion activists. Meanwhile, a survivor’s circle took place where two women shared their experiences of assault for the first time.

In the greenroom, the stars of reality shows, TikTok and major blockbusters all chatted backstage and snapped selfies together #fangirling over the work of one another. The event concluded with a powerhouse performance of “Applause” from the film “Tell It Like a Woman” with Sofia Carson on vocals, Diane Warren on piano and three violinists.

Looking around and seeing all of the incredible women, I've set my New Year's resolution: take time to celebrate the power women in my life EVERY day. 

Check out some of our favorite moments from PWS 2022 below! 

Claire Foy on the Righteous, Proportional Rage Behind ‘Women Talking': ‘We Don’t Believe We Have a Right to Imagine a Better World’

Spotlight Conversation: "Women Talking" with actress Claire Foy and TheWrap founder and CEO, Sharon Waxman (Shutterstock)

Having already won acclaim and a slew of awards (two Emmys, two SAG awards, a Golden Globe and a Broadcasting Press Guild award) for her breakout turn as Queen Elizabeth II on the first two seasons of “The Crown,” Claire Foy is earning some of the best reviews of her career (and some Oscar buzz) for her key supporting turn in Sarah Polley’s awards-season favorite “Women Talking.”

Foy stands out alongside a superb ensemble, partially because she is among the more confrontational and conventionally outraged of the group. After learning that the men of her isolated Mennonite colony are drugging and raping its women in the middle of the night, her Salome wants something approximating violent retribution if not outright war. Meanwhile, those around her debate whether to forgive, to flee or to fight back.

“She’s really frustrated, feels betrayed, murderous,” Foy said. “Her anger and her rage is pretty righteous and proportional.”

Read full article here

The Home Edit Founders Say Hello Sunshine Partnership ‘Synergistically Felt Right’

Joana Teplin, Clea Shearer, Julia Boorstin during the Spotlight Conversation: The Home Edit (Shutterstock)

Months after Reese Witherspoon’s media brand Hello Sunshine acquired The Home Edit, co-founders Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin reflected on the deal, noting that it “synergistically felt right.”

“Hello Sunshine, they’ve been part of our ecosystem for a long time,” Shearer said during a spotlight conversation moderated by CNBC correspondent Julia Boorstin. She added that the company has been “natural, incredible supportive partners.”

“It evolved from one simple conversation with the CEO Sarah Harden, and the next thing we knew they were great partners,” Shearer said.

A women-lead brand like The Home Edit seemed like a perfect match for, Hello Sunshine, which is owned by Candle Media, aims to take on projects that amplify female voices and storytelling.

“The mission of Candle Media is to really be at the intersection of content, community and commerce, which again is so much of what we do,” Shearer said. “It synergistically all felt right and again, having Reese Witherspoon be your boss is not bad.”

Read full article here

‘The White Lotus’ and ‘House of the Dragon’ Stars Admit It Was ‘a Challenge’ to ‘Find Empathy’ for Their Characters

Haley Lu Richardson and Olivia Cooke are well aware of how you feel about their characters. They know the women aren’t exactly the most likable of the bunch. In fact, it was even a challenge for them to find some empathy for the characters — but it was a fun challenge.

Cooke and Richardson appeared alongside fellow actresses Aimee Lou Wood of “Sex Education” and “Living,” Xochitl Gomez of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and Tommy Dorfman, who is set to make her directorial debut on “I Wish You All the Best” after acting on shows including “13 Reasons Why.” And really, all five women have experienced a disconnect between how fans view them, versus their characters.

It’s not that audiences see them as two different things, but rather, one and the same. Cooke joked that she’s been dubbed “an evil hag” online by “House of the Dragon” fans, while Richardson discovered via Twitter that her character Portia in “The White Lotus” is “insufferable.”

Read full article here. 

‘Ozark,’ ‘Abbott Elementary’ and ‘The Woman King’ Screenwriters Share Tips for Breaking Into TV and Film

During the panel “Inside the Writer’s Room: Telling Stories That Matter," moderator Carla Renata asked the group about their advice for breaking into film and television screenwriting.

“Ozark” screenwriter Ning Zhou emphasized that “everyone has a different path,” citing herself as an example. She knows many screenwriters who studied the craft and business in college, but she had a less traditional start in the field by switching gears mid-career.

“The good news is that I think there’s many different ways to to get into it,” she said. “The bad news is you kind of have to find your own way through. I don’t know how everybody else feels on that, but it’s really just trial and error and building the car and trying to drive it while you’re building it.”

Zhou noted she was able to rise through the ranks after starting out as an assistant, giving her exposure to a writer’s room that gave her a better understanding of the process.

“Having access to those writers to understand what their process is, kind of doing notes as a roundtable so that you start to hear what is in your head but is maybe not getting through on the page was a tremendous learning experience,” she added.

Read full article here. 

Lena Dunham Explains Why She Incorporates Improv Takes Into Her Directing Style

Lena Dunham says she primarily sticks to the script when directing, but finds that a few improvisational takes can add some pretty great moments to a film.

“I always, when I’m directing, tend to do a few takes totally to script and one take with a little bit of improv and then I’ll grab the best moments from that improvised take. It might just be a glance or a cough or a line,” Dunham told Women in Film CEO Kirsten Schaffer.

Dunham then offered an analogy to further explain her directing choice: “The dish is the script and the improv is the garnish. You don’t change the substance of the scene but it’s a great way to add texture and realism. My favorite films are the ones where you’re watching and you feel like you’re getting a glimpse of life as it is. I love watching a film and going, ‘Was that in the script? Or, ‘Was that a decision that was made?’ When you can feel there’s a spontaneity to the choices, that’s when I always feel the most connected to the thing I am watching.”

Read full article here. 

Who Run the World?! Girls.

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In the meantime, stay safe and stay fabulous.

Emily Vogel on behalf of WrapWomen
Director of Programming, TheWrap