When pressed by ITK on whether there’s a living politician she’d like to portray, a laughing Davis replied, “I can’t think of anybody particularly that I resemble. I would probably stay away from somebody who’s very currently in the spotlight. It’s safer to do something from the past.”
DeLauro — who noted the Davis-starring vehicle “Thelma and Louise” was in theaters when she was first elected to the House in 1991 — played moderator to the discussion at the MPAA’s Washington headquarters on women in television and film.
The lawmaker told Davis she has “so much respect” for the Hollywood veteran’s acting ability and the variety of roles she has chosen over the years.
But could DeLauro ever see herself up on the big screen?
“I’m a lover of film,” the colorfully clad House member told ITK. “I go back — I’m a Gregory Peck and Barbara Stanwyck [fan] and so forth. I don’t see myself — but I love it.”
She continued, “It gives you great dimensions in watching people,” before quoting the famous Bette Davis line from “All About Eve,” “Fasten your seat-belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
Davis, a women’s advocate, heads up her eponymous Institute on Gender in Media, which works with the entertainment industry on the portrayal and representation of females in the media.
The leading lady lamented that when she turned 40, the meatier roles suddenly dried up.
“It wasn’t that I wasn’t offered parts, but it’s that I wasn’t offered any of ‘those’ kinds of parts,” she said.
Saying for now she can afford to wait for roles that appeal to her, she cracked, “You cannot be as picky as I am about waiting for ‘Commander in Chief’ to come along unless you don’t run out of money. So if you ever read at some point that I signed on to play Sean Connery’s comatose wife — because that’s about the right Hollywood age — you’ll know I’m broke.”
MPAA Chairman and former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) rushed from his daughter’s spelling bee to deliver closing remarks at the evening’s festivities. He praised DeLauro (his former chief of staff in Congress) for participating at the D.C. function despite it being held during congressional recess, then echoed Davis’s points.
“It isn’t just about my two daughters, age 11 and 8, and making sure they’re going to have the kind of equal opportunity ... the audience deserves to be appreciating great performances and roles that shouldn’t be relegated merely because of some sort of historical prejudice of women and their ability to participate fully,” Dodd said.
When DeLauro asked Davis whether there was an opportunity for her to run for Congress, the actress said with a smile, “Crazier things have happened.”
Dodd seemed to support any political prospects, telling ITK following the event, “I love people who are willing to get out on the arena floor and try. I get angry when — even with people I totally disagree with — it really bothers me when people belittle them or demean them because it’s very hard to do this. And people who are willing to try … I admire the fact that they’re trying.”
Photo: MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd, Geena Davis, Rep. Rosa DeLauro. / Courtesy: Joy Asico