Gale Anne Hurd on Black Lives Matter, Sexism, ‘The Terminator,’ ‘The Walking Dead’

“Walking Dead” producer Gale Anne Hurd says that the Black Lives Matter movement rather than #MeToo has been the game changer for representation in film and television.

In a far-ranging Canneseries online conversation about her career, she also discussed sexism she has faced, future plans for “The Walking Dead” with a new spin-off series and movie, and how she keeps returning to the theme of  “ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances who find the inner strength to defeat evil.”

Hurd started by thanking legendary producer Roger Corman for not only giving her a chance in the film industry after she majored in Economics and Communications at Stanford University in 1977 but also for not limiting her career opportunities because of her gender. “I thought I’d be his assistant for life,” she said about the position for which she had applied. At the interview, “He asked me what my career path was, which I had not considered at all. I said I wanted to be a film producer.”

Overlooking the low pay, she described how working for Corman meant doing everything from heading up marketing, to script supervising and working as a production assistant. It was on 1980’s “Battle Beyond the Stars” that she met future husband James Cameron, for whom she would produce “The Terminator,” “Aliens” and “The Abyss.”

Talking about sexism in the industry, she says, “The reason it is called ‘The Terminator’ is that to get it made we had to convince financiers that the Terminator was the lead, not Sarah Connor!”

When making “Aliens,” “I would be asked: how could a little girl like you be a producer on a big movie like this? I learned early on, as a woman in the film industry, you could be respected or liked, you couldn’t be both.”

That has only recently started to change. “The catalyst has been the Black Lives Matter Movement. #MeToo has some significance, but a lot of women were still afraid to tell stories of on-set discrimination and the casting couch. The Black Lives Matter moment is a game-changer for all minorities and people with different genders.”

On “The Walking Dead” she says, “With three iterations, it’s now more complicated,” and that was before the coronavirus pandemic. “We were unable to complete new spin-off ‘The Walking Dead: World Beyond’ on time, even though it was in post. Filming of season 11 of ‘The Walking Dead’ was supposed to commence in May, and ‘Fear of the Walking Dead’ we had to shut down in the middle of production.”

On ‘World Beyond,’ the first episode of which just aired, she added, “We wondered what would it be like at high school if the only world you had grown up in was that of the Zombie Apocalypse?”

Hurd updated on the spin-off movie that is with Universal and will see the return of Andrew Lincoln in the role of Rick Grimes. “There is a script currently being worked on, and we are hopeful.”

Source: Read Full Article