So I’m making a very pro Zack Snyder post right now because something I don’t see people acknowledge very much about him is how much all the actresses he’s worked with really like him and have consistently praised him.

This is Hollywood. A lot of actresses don’t have good experiences on films. Directors will belittle them, make them cry, put them in situations that make them uncomfortable, etc. So I have found it interesting for a while how much actresses who have worked with Zack clearly like him, because a lot of women in Hollywood will either call out unpleasant directors, or just keep silent about them, rather than saying anything bad. Zack’s actresses, across the board, seem to really like him.

Don’t worry. I have receipts. Let’s start with Sucker Punch, shall we?

(source)

Emily Browning repeatedly praised Zack on the press tour for Sucker Punch. She even went as far as to say he gave her her love of acting back.

“At one point I was [doubting that I would continue with acting] and actually this film, to be honest with you, is the one that’s brought me back and made me realize this is absolutely what I want to do. I have faith in this industry, if a movie making experience can be this positive and this much fun, then I can’t imagine ever doing anything else.”

For video reference, here’s a video of Emily and Abbie Cornish. They start talking about Zack at around the 5:00 minute mark.

“He keeps the set really fun and light and positive. I mean, obviously when we were doing our emotional scenes, he was really super respectful of that.”

Just wanted to point out from that what Emily is probably referencing there are the scenes of sexual abuse her character faces. You don’t think it would be asking a lot for a director to be respectful of those scenes and their impact on the women performing them, but unfortunately it sometimes is, and from what she said, Zack obviously is respectful of her while performing those scenes.

Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, and Vanessa Hudgens also praised him a lot here around the 4:30 mark.

Moving on to 300, Lena Headey was the female lead in that film (it’s worth noting that Zack expanded her role greatly from the graphic novel, where her part was extremely minimal) and she, like the others, had many kind things to say about Zack at the beginning of this interview.

“He’s so enthusiastic and it’s kind of infectious to be around that. And he’s got such a clear vision and knows absolutely what he wants to bring to the screen. So it’s great to have a leader like that.”

While on the San Andreas press tour, Carla Gugino, who worked with Zack on Watchmen and Man of Steel, expressed interest in working with Zack again in the DCEU at 1:07.

“I would go anywhere with Zack Snyder, do any movie with him and Debbie.”

So now for the DCEU actresses. We can start with Amy, as she’s said many sweet things about Zack. Most recently she discussed how it was difficult for her to see Zack take so much heat for BvS. It’s at around the 40:00 minute mark in this podcast.

“I just felt for Zack,” Adams says. “Zack’s like the nicest person ever, and to see him kind of talked about like that was really hard for me, because he’s really such a respectful director.”

There’s that word again. “Respectful.” Amy has been pretty candid in the past about working with directors who she didn’t get along with or didn’t treat her very well. With Zack, she’s only ever had nice things to say.

Now for Holly Hunter, she starts discussing him at the 1:00 minute mark.

“People have a fabulous time on this movie because the atmosphere is very creative, very respectful, and at the same time playful.”

Somehow I’ve gotten the impression that the women on his movies have never felt disrespected by Zack given the constant use of the word “respectful.”

So of course we have to hear from Wonder Woman about Zack. She starts talking about him at 1:38.

“He’s so women friendly. He’s very into women empowerment, and I think that for him, personally as well, it is very important to show a strong female on the big screen, that is equal to the other heroes.”

Lastly I’ll link Diane Lane’s interview, where she talks about Zack at 1:45.

“It’s so wonderful to work with Zack, who I trust implicitly, and has all the answers. It’s so wonderful to be able to trust him.”

So basically with this I wanted to say if you don’t like Zack Snyder as a director, that’s fine. No one is obligated to like a director’s movies. But I feel like the attacks on Zack Snyder have become downright personal, and that is ridiculous. I think it’s rather sad that a director that the media and some fans have decided to target is a director who treats his actresses with respect and clearly goes out of his way to make them comfortable and collaborate with them and actually care about the women in his movies.

There are not very many action film directors today who I feel care a whole lot about women, and Zack is one of the few, and I wish that was appreciated more. But instead I still see constant personal attacks that he does not deserve.

ALRIGHT ONCE AGAIN let’s talk about the difference between the sexualization in other movies and Lois Lane’s bathtub scene in batman v superman. Lots of people have done this already and I thank you all for that. But some people are still not getting it. 

For those of you who have seen Iron Man 2, you know very well there is a scene where Black Widow strips down in the back of Happy’s car. Note that Natasha makes it very clear that she does not want to be watched or seen when she does this, but you have Happy spying on her anyway against her wishes, thus objectifying her. She clearly didn’t want him to look and he did anyway, and there is the further perverse impression that the viewer is spying on her body in the same way that Happy is.  Or how about in Star Trek: Into Darkness, when Dr. Carol Marcus tells Kirk to turn around while she changes? Then, of course, he doesn’t listen and he turns around anyway, thus causing her to demand that he turn around again. Once again, this is a woman being objectified for her body – the character explicitly asks not to be viewed in a such a way, and yet she is anyway. Like with Natasha, her wishes as a person – a human being – are directly ignored. Arguments can even be made that they needed to change for whatever reason, because hey – women have a right to change clothes as they please.

A scene is not automatically sexualizing because a woman is naked, or has consensual sex. Women have a right to be/do those things if they choose. But in both of these examples, you have the women’s bodies portrayed as more important than their characters/personalities/wants/needs. That is sexualization, without a doubt. 

Now let’s look at the bathtub scene. You have Lois Lane, understandably taking a bath because she had a traumatic and confusing/mysterious experience that she wants to piece together (lots of people use bathing/shower times to think. No, she is not clothed because obviously people generally don’t wear clothes in the bath. But it is still noticeable that the camera is almost entirely focused on her face the whole time. The amount of skin that is shown is really quite minimal (though skin is never the issue – it’s the way the skin is depicted). 

Nonetheless, when Clark enters the room, a big factor is that he is making DIRECT EYE CONTACT with her the whole time. He is looking at her, not at her body. This helps establish that he values her for more than her body. In fact, what does he come in to do? He enters to simply inform her that he is cooking dinner and making other gestures to suggest that he cares for her. Further, it is Lois that continues the conversation, indicating that she wants him to stay there with her (which is quite the opposite of what happened in the other two movies I mentioned, in which the women demanded that the men look away or leave).

In this scene, Lois and Clark have a legitimate, necessary discussion that moves the plot along and lays out Lois’s motivations as a CHARACTER quite clearly. You learn that she is suspicious of what happened, and that she has a thirst for knowledge. You learn that she cares deeply about Clark and the world’s reactions to him. This scene serves as character development for her (something that many female characters are unfairly denied). She exists in this scene as more than just an attractive body – she is a breathing, thinking person. 

At no point does Lois suggest that she does not want Clark there. When he tentatively makes physical contact with her, she grabs onto him. And when he climbs into the bathtub to disprove her concerns that “he can’t love her and still be him,” he pauses to see if she is okay with it. And it is clear as day that she is – she smiles, laughs, and leans backwards to make room for him.  Is it sexualization if two consenting adults in love engage in this sort of behavior? No. That’s pretty much human nature. 

And why a bathtub scene, many of you ask? I’m sure many of you think it was unnecessary and pointedly included to sexualize Lois. But this scene is straight up foreshadowing. Lois essentially asks Clark if he can  be Superman and love her at the same time. He responds in a silly though meaningful way by jumping fully clothed into the bathtub so that he can kiss her. This implies that he would do anything for her. 

And what happens later in the movie? Oh yeah. He jumps into the water to save her from drowning, meanwhile abandoning the fight against Doomsday. He stops being Superman and becomes a mere man in love…for her. And then to further prove this foreshadowed point, he implies that he is going to sacrifice himself for Lois in particular. 

And last but not least, it is meant to disprove the idea that Lois and Clark’s biological differences stand in the way of this sort of thing. We learn quickly that they don’t, and that they’re in love, and that they’d do anything for each other. Case closed. Characters developed. Relationship established. Sexualization not achieved.