Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day 2022 and to celebrate the occasion, we’re joined by Jules de Jongh and Genevieve Gaunt.
Jules provided the voices of Lieutenant Green and Harmony Angel in Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet, as well as taking on the role of Atlanta Shore in the new series of Stingray full cast audiobooks.
Genevieve first entered the Anderson universe portraying the lead role of Nero Jones in the audio drama series First Action Bureau and later joined the cast of the new Thunderbirds full cast audiobooks in the roles of Lady Penelope and Grandma Tracy.
What does International Women’s Day 2022 mean to you?
Jules: It’s a day to look around and acknowledge the amazing women in our lives.
Genevieve: The 8th March and IWD is a Janus figure for me- it has two faces- on the one side: how we, as women, in this postage stamp of the world enjoy such extraordinary freedoms compared to some in other corners and how extraordinarily far we have come in 100 years. On the other side: how as we fight for more freedoms and tackle inequalities, there are some women across the world who experience horrific injustices. It’s a balance of taking stock, being grateful and yet striving for more, for ourselves and for other women and girls. That’s what IWD means to me.
Is there someone significant to you who has helped to shape the way women are today?
Jules: When I was an early teen I picked up a book, Gone with the Wind, in all honesty I chose it because it was in the house and so thick it counted as three books, not one. It took me a while to get through the first half, it’s heavy reading at times but once into it I couldn’t put it down and read the second half in one night. Now Scarlett O’Hara might seem an odd choice but I admired her strength and independence. In the middle of a society where women were defined by who they were married to and their views were valuable only when prompted, she shattered those illusions. Scarlett might not have shaped the way most women are today but she sure made an impact on the younger me.
Genevieve: My mum. She raised me as a single parent and I gained my independent spirit and ability to see both sides of every argument from her.
What are the challenges for women working in the entertainment industry?
Genevieve: I feel, as a woman but especially as an actor it can be discombobulating trying to second guess what others want you to be; which version of yourself to amplify, and which bits to quieten. I smile to myself as I go from playing an aristocrat to a drug addict, to a kid in an audio book to a 19th century prostitute, like Dustin Hoffman in the movie Tootsie saying he can play a tomato “Nobody does vegetables like me!” You’d start thinking, hmm was I ripe enough? It’s crazy. I also have to add that I have found as much solace, laughs, support, creativity and joy with the male actors, directors, writers, sound engineers, DoPs etc as I have with women in our industry. Ultimately, it’s about finding your people
What progress have you seen on gender equality in the entertainment industry?
Jules: The male/female relationship is sensitive in the work place right now, particularly in the entertainment industry. We are still finding our equilibrium. I do feel for men that are in a constant state of alert, but I’m grateful they’ve been alerted! As a mother of two boys, I hope they grow into a working environment where respect and equality are second nature. I hope the abuses of the past are just that, the past.
Genevieve: Huge progress. I remember in 2017, when #MeToo broke, it made me realise that I had been dancing around issues and assuming they were a normal annoyance you could prevent and prepare for like bringing mosquito spray on holiday. We owe great thanks to those whistleblowing women such as Rose McGowan. I did get a chance to tell her when I interviewed her for my podcast The Cupid Couch. Until #MeToo, I didn’t realise the status quo could and should change. It takes a person, a spark, a movement.
Is there an audio, film or play that inspires you?
Jules: About a million of them and not always where you’d expect them. Just the other day I watched Mitchells v the Machines on Netflix. That scene where the mother rises up and takes out the machines single handed resonated with me. You don’t mess with a mama bear.
Genevieve: Elizabeth Taylor in anything. Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot breaks my heart every time I see it because she shows how women can be so trodden on by the world but we are, like any person, often our own worst enemy too.
Which actors/creatives deserve a mention on International Women’s Day 2022?
Jules: The ones we don’t always notice, who aren’t all over clickbait, but deliver quality performances over and over again. The ones I can’t remember now but should. To all those amazing talents, thank you and I’ll start taking note of your names.
Genevieve: Jennifer Coolidge for bringing joy and Ibsen for understanding women and being a man with the power to share our pain and struggles with the world. It takes both sides.
Our thanks to Jules and Genevieve for taking time to share their thoughts and feelings about International Women’s Day 2022.
We would love to hear from you too, so drop us a message or comment and let us know about the women who inspire you and what International Women’s Day 2022 means to you!