Like many of her female contemporaries, Davis, now 64, had a hard time finding work after she turned 40.
Davis remembered her days before 40, she wasn’t too afraid of where her career was headed because “Meryl Streep, Jessica Lange and Sally Field” were still making “great female-centric movies.”
Additionally, the “great roles, really tippy-top roles” that Davis was playing at the time assuaged any fears she had, making her feel that “things must be getting better for women.”
“But suddenly, the great roles were incredibly scarce,” she said. “It was a big difference.”
Davis then said she was a little surprised that her work, and the work of other female actresses, hadn’t led to the big change she was hoping to see in the movie industry.
“Everyone said: ‘Now we’re going to have so many movies starring women.’ And I was like: ‘Hot dog! I’m in something that started change,’” she recalled.
“And then ‘A League of Their Own comes’ out and everyone says: ‘Now there’s going to be so many women’s sports movies!’ And five years go by … It was a shock that absolutely nothing happened,” Davis said.
The star also discussed sexual harassment within Hollywood, recounting once being told by a director to sit on his lap during an audition, as well as watching other directors sexually harass others on set.
“You can’t say anything, because it will kill your career,” she said of the culture in her earlier years in show biz.
However, #MeToo came around and shook things up: “People really can talk about it now. It’s like night and day and it’s amazing,” she said.