I noticed most if not all of the "directed by women" posts you've done so far have been about actresses, which got me wondering. Who are the male actors that have done a good job of working with many women directors? I know many big stars have a terrible track record in this regard, but are there any you can think of that have been more praiseworthy?
There are definitely male actors out there who do work with women directors frequently. Like you said, none of the big stars, but lots of respectable actors that you have heard of. Just generally I’m too lazy to do a “directed by women” post about them because I tend to care about actresses more.
Obviously I have done one of David Oyelowo, who I love for his love of women directors!
Other names: Keanu Reeves (he obviously worked with the Wachowskis when they were still presenting as men, but he’s also worked with Bigelow, Ana Lily Amirpour, Marisa Silver, Nancy Meyers, Courtney Hunt and more. Also Victoria Mahoney who directed Yelling to the Sky said he gave her an undisclosed sum of money to help get that movie made because they know each other and when he saw the racism and sexism she faced he decided to do something to help her), Ralph Fiennes (another one who’s worked with Bigelow, his sister and a whole bunch of other women I can’t remember), Tom Wilkinson (who has worked with some of my faves like Amma Asante, Ava DuVernay and Sandra Goldbacher among others), John Hawkes (worked for Miranda July, Debra Granik and more), Tom Hiddleston got his start with Joanna Hogg (who he made three films with) but like most successful actors he did seem to veer away from women directors once he got more famous, but then he did recently work for Susanne Bier, Gael García Bernal has worked with quite a few women directors all over the world (including Amy Heckerling!).
Those are the ones that immediately pop into my head, I’m sure there are more I’m forgetting about.
I will say that I’ve noticed a new trend that if a guy shows up in 1 film directed by a woman he usually shows up in more quickly afterwards (like Jack O’Connell did Unbroken and Money Monster in short order and Chris Pine signed on to A Wrinkle in Time shortly after Wonder Woman).
There is no doubt in my mind that there is a sorority of women directors who talk to each other about which male actors are safe to work with. Gina Prince-Bythewood basically said as much in an interview where after having a bad experience with a male actor who wouldn’t listen to her she’ll only work with actors who have worked with women before and she’ll call up fellow directors to see who has a good reputation and who doesn’t. Hopefully the younger generation of Hollywood actors are interested in pushing this issue because a lot of the older generation either don’t care or actively worked to destroy or impede the careers of women directors.