Hollywood actresses recount career challenges

Sun Jan 2, 2011 10:51pm EST
 
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By Matthew Belloni and Stephen Galloway

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - It's an annual question during Hollywood's awards season: Why are there so few great roles for women? But this year that query has disappeared.

The Hollywood Reporter recently invited six of the most buzz-worthy actresses -- Amy Adams ("The Fighter"), Annette Bening ("The Kids Are All Right"), Helena Bonham Carter ("Alice in Wonderland," "The King's Speech"), Nicole Kidman ("Rabbit Hole"), Natalie Portman ("Black Swan"), and Hilary Swank ("Conviction") -- for a discussion of their careers and the roles that got away (in one case, to a fellow panelist).

WHAT IS YOUR TOUGHEST MOMENT AS AN ACTRESS?

Helena Bonham Carter: It's every time you start a job. "What am I doing here? I can't actually act. Someone employed me again?" I think for me, the most excruciating thing is watching myself. It's like painting a picture blind and then taking the blindfold off, and unfortunately it's nothing at all what you intended.

Amy Adams: My hardest moments have a lot to do with being unemployed, which I'm very familiar with. I was in L.A. for about six or seven years before "Junebug."

IS THERE A TIME YOU THOUGHT ABOUT GIVING UP?

Adams: Oh yeah, absolutely. That's what is great about being an actor: You really do examine every type of life. So I fantasized about, what if I became a teacher? But the good thing is that I get to embody all these different characters and get to experience a different life. So I think I'll stay.

HOW INVOLVED ARE YOU IN THE FILMMAKING PROCESS? FOR INSTANCE,   Continued...

 
<p>Actress Annette Bening poses at the 17th Annual Women in Hollywood Tribute gala in Los Angeles October 18, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>