'Girls5eva' star Busy Philipps recalls being 'disheartened' when a TV executive shot down her directing ambitions
- Busy Philipps told Insider she was "disheartened" when meeting with TV executives about directing.
- She'd directed on "Cougar Town" and said she was "very good at it for lots of reasons."
- The "Girls5eva" star partnered with Rao's Homemade, a company that often donates to Jersey Cares.
"Girls5eva" star Busy Philipps first appeared on the small screen over two decades ago as Kim Kelly in the short-lived NBC cult hit dramedy "Freaks and Geeks" and has had a robust career as an actor ever since.
But during a recent interview with Insider to talk about her partnership with Rao's Homemade , a company that frequently works with local organizations like Jersey Cares, she reflected on how difficult it's been to secure directing opportunities as a woman in Hollywood, describing a conversation with an unnamed network TV executive that "disheartened" her.
"Several years ago, I had a real moment of reckoning in terms of what I wanted my life to look like in the future and what I was interested in doing and pursuing," Philipps said.
She had directed an episode of "Cougar Town," the sitcom she starred in alongside Courteney Cox, who Philipps described as "incredibly encouraging" of her pursuit. She said she "loved" the experience.
"I was very good at it for lots of reasons. I've been doing this since I was a teenager," the actor, who's also known for her role as Audrey Liddell on the hit teen drama "Dawson's Creek, " said. "But I also pay attention."
After she directed "Cougar Town," an unnamed friend tried to get Philipps to direct an episode of their TV show on a "major network" produced by a "major studio," she said.
"And I was just told like, 'No, it's just not going to happen. The studio won't approve it, the network won't approve it. It's not going to happen,'" she recalled. "Meanwhile, obviously any dude who's spent 10 minutes on a television show manages to parlay their career into directing."
"Some of that stuff I think post 'Me Too' has hopefully shifted, but I remember having that meeting with the executive and being really disheartened by his response," she said.
Philipps told Insider that there was "no room" for her to make a case for herself in the meeting. She said people have "short memories" and so we forget that the "Me Too" movement only began inspiring change in the entertainment industry a few years ago.
"People forget that it was just a few years ago that an industry was just operating in a specific way and treating women and people of color in our industry in a way that is unacceptable, and that real changes needed to be made," she said.
Philipps is now living out another dream on 'Girls5eva'
Philipps is currently starring alongside Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Paula Pell in the musical dramedy "Girls5eva."
This season, her character Summer is on a "journey" to find out who she is as she tries to separate from her husband Kev (Andrew Rannells), especially now that she has "real friends in her life that are sort of confronting her with the truth of what's going on" outside of what she projects on social media.
Philipps, 42, said that Summer is at an age where people tend to "take stock of the relationships that you have around you and the people who support you or don't support you."
The actor is currently having a blast reviving the fictional girl group Girls5eva on the small screen and is particularly excited for fans to hear a song she sang with Bareilles.
"My dream when I was young was to be like Indigo Girls, or I wanted to be... I never wanted to be a pop star, I wanted to be like Ani DiFranco or something," she said, adding that she doesn't write music.
After filming the season two scene with Bareilles, Philipps said, "I left and I was like, 'Am I in a girl group with Sara Bareilles? I'm really doing this.' The song turned out so good. And it's so funny and weird, and I'm excited for people to watch it and hear it."
The first three episodes of "Girls5eva" premiere Thursday, May 5 on Peacock.Read the original article on Insider