The Importance of a Female Lead: Katie Leung Stars in “Leading Lady Parts”

In the midst of the Time’s Up movement, representation in film and television has never been more important. One of our favorite Ravenclaws, Katie Leung (Cho Chang), stars in a new short film that has an important message about the experience of women in the entertainment industry.

Leading Lady Parts is the first in a series of short films produced by Rebel Park Productions, a company that aims to produce more opportunities for women in film and television. The series will focus on the portrayal of women in the media and the struggles that women face in all industries, starting with Leading Lady Parts, which puts the spotlight on the acting community.

Set in the audition room for a character known only as “the lady part,” Leung stars alongside a host of British female acting talent, including Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia: The Sands of TimeQuantum of Solace), Emilia Clarke (Terminator GenisysMe Before You), Felicity Jones (Rogue OneThe Theory of Everything), Catherine Tate (Doctor Who), and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them actresses Gemma Chan (Madam Ya Zhou) and Wunmi Mosaku (Beryl).

 

Despite only ten minutes of running time, Leading Lady Parts comments on both the impossible standards women in the acting community face and the lack of depth and diversity of female characters. Featuring a diverse range of talent, the film touches on the subjects of sexism, ageism, and racism, which women face within the industry.

It’s not rocket science, darling. We’re just asking you to be thin and curvy, sexy and innocent.

Complex and diverse female characters are hard to come by on both the big and small screens. Even in the Harry Potter series, which boasts a number of strong female characters in the books, female actors and female actors of color were often reduced to side characters. With the Fantastic Beasts series set to continue this November, the wizarding world has another chance to bring complex and diverse female characters to our screens, a chance we really hope it takes!

Outside of Potter, other franchises have also succeeded and struggled in increasing the representation of women on screen. This year sees the arrival of the first ever female Doctor in the Doctor Who series but has also seen Kelly Marie Chan (Rose Tico, Star Wars) delete her Instagram account due to sexist and racist abuse. Leung has shown solidarity with Chan in a recent Instagram post, which reminds us of the importance of fandom support in the journey for female representation in our favorite stories.

So far, there has been a positive response to Leading Lady Parts. The film has also received the support of fellow Potter alumna Emma Watson, who has been a vocal member of the Time’s Up movement.

 

 

The dialogue surrounding female representation on-screen isn’t going to go away anytime soon, and Leung’ s role in Leading Lady Parts shows that there is still a way to go in eliminating the struggles women face in the film industry. You can watch Leading Lady Parts below.

 

Lucy O'Shea

I was given a copy of Philosopher's Stone in 2001, and instantly, I was hooked. Since then, my passion for Potter has been equaled only by my passion for fair access to education (and watching motorsport). A spell I wish could exist in the Muggle world is the summoning charm because this Hufflepuff is not a "particularly good finder"!

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