I’m always going on about the importance of a strong female lead. There are people in my life that are probably sick and tired of hearing about it for me. I’m not all that sorry about it, though, and I’ll tell you why.
I attended the big comic con for my state: Motor City Comic Con. I had two outfits prepared: Wonder Woman (I had worked on this outfit for months) and my Rey (which I’m pretty proud of). Now, Wonder Woman, being that the film is coming out (so excited), was a hit. Little kids waved, parents pointed me out to them, people wanted pics. I’m always obliging, after all, as long as they are respectful. Especially to the little girls (and surprising amounts of little Captain Americas).
As the day wore on, I decided to change (Rey being more comfortable and closer to my personality). You know what I noticed? People loved Wonder Woman; she’s iconic, however, the little girls who saw my Rey (there were surprising few, only one other adult Rey whose staff was enviable), were bold, enthusiastic, and excited. And I know why.
She’s the character I wanted when I was growing up. Not to discredit Leia, because she was incredibly important for girls, but I wasn’t much like Leia. I wanted to fly the Falcon. I wanted to play in the dirt on the playground. I was always searching, much like Rey is, for a place that fit. Rey is feminine (in a way that’s very different from Leia) but she’s also a “tomboy” (I hate the term, but it’s useful here). And right now, she’s this tentative, yearning heroine we need, and it struck me, looking at the little Reys who asked for pictures, just how much we need her.
So as a writer (and actress), I know that I’m not even close to being done about more female leads in the world. I’m seeing the impact, and it is a good one. A great one. There shouldn’t be a cap on it. I hear that too often: don’t we have enough? No one says that to a man/boy.
Now we have women leading the new Star Trek series. Rey is helming Star Wars. Wonder Woman is opening soon. Supergirl is on TV. But this is just a handful.
No. There’s never enough. If these little Reys are any indication? We need more.