Minnie Driver Says Hollywood Has Changed for Women Since the ’90s

After a decades-long career in Hollywood, Minnie Driver shares the integral way the industry has changed for women since the ’90s.

During a panel discussion hosted by PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly and Starz for the second season of The Serpent Queen at The London West Hollywood on Tuesday, July 9, the actress, 54, shared her observations on how opportunities for women in the entertainment industry have evolved since her big break over 20 years ago.

“We’re allowed to be over 40 now,” she said. “It is different. I don’t know what that was done waking up to the idea that women are really just hitting their stride when they’ve, I think been through the gauntlet of only being seen sexually.”

Minnie Driver at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in 1998.

John Chapple/Hulton Archive/Getty


Driver explained that female sexuality is no longer their “apparent power” and roles for women how feature the “extraordinary expansiveness that comes with getting older,” motherhood and the choice to be childless and how bodies have changed.

“I watched a film the other night that I really wanted to be in and I am so glad I’m not in that bloody film,” she recalled. “Because I’ve been conditioned to think that because that was the best that was on offer at that time and everyone was vying for like the same part.”

Driver revealed that she watched the same movie with her now 15-year-old son who “couldn’t believe” that an actress would want to take part.

“These were the kind of dynamics that we were fighting for, longing for,” she added. “And you realize, now there is so much more variety of what is asked of a female actor, which is invigorating and amazing.”

This isn’t the first time that Driver has opened up about experiencing unfair treatment during the ’90s.

While appearing on Jameela Jamil’s SiriusXM podcast I Weigh with Jameela Jamil in April, the actress said producers behind Hard Rain, which is set entirely during a massive rainstorm, would not allow her to wear a wetsuit as part of her character’s costume.

(L) Christian Slater and Minnie Driver in ‘Hard Rain’.

Paramount/Everett


“There were huge rain machines. We shot crazy hours. It was tough, like, it was a tough movie, but everybody else could wear a wetsuit underneath their costume,” Driver said. “And I was told by the producers that I couldn’t because they wanted to see my nipples, and that there was no point in having the wet T-shirt if you couldn’t have what was underneath it.”

Driver said she complained to her agent regarding her requests to wear a wetsuit like other actors on set (the movie also starred Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater and Randy Quaid) and that following her speaking up, “people wouldn’t speak to me on the set.”

“There was this kind of — I was so punished for it,” Driver said on the podcast, additionally claiming that her complaints were leaked to media outlets “as if there were nothing to complain about and that I were just complaining.”

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The Serpent Queen season 2 premieres July 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Starz.

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