Aisha Tyler’s career in Hollywood has blossomed since her days as Ross’ girlfriend on the hit sitcom Friends. The beauty has become a powerhouse, not only as an actress and TV host but also has taken on the role behind the camera as a director.
However, Tyler shares that it hasn’t been an easy road navigating her way through the harsh realities that present themselves in the world of film. A number of female celebrities have made clear just how differently females are treated over their male co-stars, directors, and producers. Aisha is joining the movement and sharing her own tale of struggle within the industry.
Time shares Aisha’s words on the subject of sexism.
“It’s so incredibly hard as a first-time director, especially if you’re a woman and a person of color, to get studios to take you seriously. Whereas I had a built-in fanbase who knew who I was, had listened to my podcast, who saw my short films and were excited to be a part of this.”
Due to not being taken seriously as a director yet being determined and unwavering in her goal to direct her project Axis, Aisha has launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise the funds necessary to bring that goal to fruition.
Aisha Tyler on dealing with sexism and advice she got from Jennifer Aniston https://t.co/4HvrnjiGjf
— TIME.com (@TIME) April 18, 2016
The actress-turned-director also noted why crowdfunding is sometimes a necessary avenue for celebrities to take and attempts to stamp out the misconceptions that people have of celebrities’ abilities to get funded for projects.
“People often don’t understand why celebrities crowd fund. I think they think if you’re ‘famous’ you can just get $10 million, and that’s not true.”
The host of the podcast Girl on Guy was also keen to share with the publication as to advice that actress Jennifer Aniston gave while the two were co-starring on Friends over a decade ago. Tyler notes how the words shared by the star have stuck with her while continuing on in the industry.
“When I was on Friends, I was up for this really big movie. I didn’t get it and was so heartbroken. I got to work and was bummed. I was in the kitchen talking to Jennifer Aniston, and she said, ‘Look, that’s never going to go away. No matter where you are in your career. You’re always going to lose stuff to other people. You’re always going to get your heart broken. So you need to just find a way to have it not be that important.'”
Aniston, likewise, recently spoke with Harper’s Bazaar about her own challenges while attempting to be considered for the more dramatic roles over her typical rom-com parts. The veteran noted that she simply had to believe in herself and show directors that she was able to take on a variety of characters outside the comical genre.
— twitaward (@twit_award) October 6, 2015
Jen’s advice now gives Aisha the ability to share her own truth to women who are trying to make it, as she was, and continues to.
“[W]hat I would say to people of color and women is that you’re going to get your heart broken over and over and over again. And that shouldn’t matter because if you know who you are, getting your heart broken will just increase your resolve to work harder. And you will transcend.”
This talent is definitely not allowing the challenges that are often thrown her way to keep her from attaining her goals. It’s clear that directing is Tyler’s passion, and although she has been forced to crowdfund due to being overlooked by production companies, we can definitely count on her independent film being completed in the near future.
When questioned about what initially inspired Tyler to get involved in directing, the star shared her influences easily.
“The movies I watched with my dad growing up were Die Hard and Mad Max. As I got older, people were kind of making the same films over and over again in that genre. I knew the movie I wanted to see and the directors I really admired like Paul Greengrass or Kathryn Bigelow and thought I would love to emulate them.”
It’s clear that Tyler’s drive and determination will see to it that she becomes a notable director in Hollywood, much like Aniston has become a respected dramatic actress.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]