Léa Seydoux Says Acting in Europe Is ‘Easier’ Because Hollywood Is ‘Harsh on Women’: ‘You Have to Conform’ in America and ‘You Lose Your Freedom’

Léa Seydoux is a superstar in her home country of France and has successfully crossed over to Hollywood in franchises such as James Bond (“Spectre” and “No Time to Die”) and “Dune” (she debuted as Lady Margot Fenring in “Part Two” and will likely return for the third movie if it moves forward). But Seydoux recently told Harper’s Bazaar U.K. that it’s much easier being a female actor in Europe than it is in America.

“The industry in America, I find it harsh on women,” Seydoux said. “It’s hard for women to age. I don’t want to be afraid not to be desirable or to lose my contract. In America it’s economic, and when it becomes a matter of making money you lose your freedom. I don’t feel comfortable with the fact that you have to tick all the boxes. Being a woman on screen is easier in Europe.”

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“I have more freedom because I’m a European actress, which suits me,” Seydoux continued. “I’m not trying to be popular, I’m just trying to enjoy myself. In America you have to conform. I don’t want to adapt myself to the system, I want the system to adapt to me!”

Seydoux added that “it’s tough for someone who’s not totally American to lead a Hollywood film” and she “takes what I get” in terms of roles in major studio tentpoles. The actor told IndieWire in 2022 that one reason she enjoyed coming to Hollywood to make movies is because “I feel that in America people have more imagination.”

“I have been offered films very, very far from what I’ve done and I’m like, ‘Oh. Interesting.’ I love to feel that I can adapt myself. For me, that’s very exotic,” she added at the time. “I make the films that I would want to watch. It’s the only way I choose.”

To Seydoux’s point, many actors often speak out about the limited roles afforded to women as they age in the industry. “Bridgerton” and “Fair Play” star Phoebe Dynevor recently made headlines after telling the London Evening Standard that she’s even noticing opportunities for actors her age are drying up. Dynevor is only 28 years old.

“I have read some great scripts recently. I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but there is still, like, not that many parts going,” Dynevor said. “There is such a space for male actors … there are so many of them. And they’re all great. They’re all very talented young men. and they do not stop working. And good for them.”

“But you know, when I think about the girls my age … there’s way more room for [male actors] and there is still not enough room for us,” she continued. “It’s a really good time for older women which is amazing and there’s a lot for these young men, but not a lot for the actresses that I know in my age bracket.”

Seydoux currently stars in “Dune: Part Two,” which is playing in theaters nationwide from Warner Bros.

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