Andie MacDowell has said she had a panic attack prompted by the realization she was the only woman on the set of a film she made in 2016.
Speaking to Marie Claire, MacDowell said she “dropped to [her] knees” after the incident, which came in the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency.
“I was really disturbed that nobody seemed to care about the vagina[-grabbing] how,” she said. “I had gotten really sad. I went to do a job, a day’s work, and I had my very first panic attack. I was getting ready to shoot something, and I turn around and it’s, like, a roomful of men. Like, a sea of men. It flashed on something that was personal for me. And I dropped to my knees.”
MacDowell said she retired to a fake bathroom on set to try to compose herself, looking at herself in the mirror and saying: “’Get your shit together.’ It just freaked me out, not seeing any other women. It’s not that I have anything against men. I do not! I just don’t like big groups of them. Since then, I’ve become very conscious of looking around and finding the women on set. For comfort.”
MacDowell did not name the production she was working on when she had the panic attack. She shot three films that were released in 2017: Only the Brave, a Josh Brolin/Miles Teller elite firefighters film; Love After Love, about two grieving siblings; and Netflix yuletide comedy Christmas Inheritance. All three had primarily male crews.
Speaking during the promotion of Love After Love, MacDowell talked about being surprised by the sight of herself, shooting her first nude scene, at the age of 59, in particular “how sad I looked. The only reason I could do that is because I know that sadness. That to me made me feel more vulnerable than being naked. It had no effect on me, being naked, which is fascinating.”
Speaking to Marie Claire, MacDowell said she felt the advent of the #MeToo movement in 2017 had meant “you do see the difference on set. There are a lot more women.”