"Firstly- this is a photo from my cover shoot for InStyle magazine, not a still from HBO’s The Last Of Us," Lynskey wrote. "And I’m playing a person who meticulously planned & executed an overthrow of FEDRA. I am supposed to be SMART, ma’am. I don’t need to be muscly. That’s what henchmen are for."
It’s a plague that’s been on the strong female lead since breaking away from the role of victim or the wife—this notion that she has to possess qualities we typically find exemplary in men, be it with a hardened gym body, untouchable toughness, or a solid, singular focus. And this bias in fiction spills over into the real world. As Lynksey noted in a follow-up post, “Women, and especially women in leadership positions, are scrutinized incessantly. Her voice is too shrill. Her voice is too quiet. She pays too much attention to how she looks. She doesn’t pay enough attention to how she looks. She’s too angry. She’s not angry enough.'"
But Lynskey wants to dismantle all that. The actress wrote that she felt it was important to portray Kathleen as “feminine, and soft-voiced, and all the things that we’ve been told are ‘weak,’” adding that what made her casting “exciting” was that it imagined “a future in which people start listening to the person with the best ideas. Not the coolest or the toughest person…The person who is doing the planning…The one who’s decisive.”
From being constantly reminded since the age of 17 to be “thin, confident and pretty” to having a crew member suggest a personal trainer for her acclaimed role on “Yellowjackets,” Lynskey has constantly had to address unsolicited comments about her shape. And while that is exhausting to think about, she feels that, other than the acting itself, “the most exciting part of my job is subverting expectations.”
Goes to show that Lynskey knows exactly how to be tough, whether fending off zombies or out-of-touch comments on social media.
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