Playing lead roles beyond big screen

Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis is known for her smarts and good looks while playing iconic female roles in the movies.

So she seemed like the perfect fit as a headliner at last month’s Vision 2020 “Celebration of American Women” conference held at the Constitution Center. She spoke with Metro then about the importance of gender equality in the 21st century and other goals she has set through some organizations she now leads.

“I tried to choose roles that made women feel good about themselves,” she said of her movie roles. “Women need to come out of the movie theater feeling uplifted.”

Davis established the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media after watching cartoons with her then 2-year-old daughter, Alizeh.

The actress believes that fighting for equal representation in children’s television is important because “it is no secret that children watch a lot of television.” Davis argues, “Studies have shown that girls feel that they have fewer options with the more television they watch. Boys become more sexist.”

Davis is a trustee of the Women’s Sport Foundation — although the nearly 6-foot-tall Davis did not take up sports until she starred in “A League of Her Own” at the age of 36. But she said sports are important in a young woman’s development.

“Eighty percent of the female managers of Fortune 500 companies played sports. Women playing sports will increase the amount of women managers,” Davis said.

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