Laurene Powell Jobs, Reese Witherspoon, Physique 57: Broadsheet February 21
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Laurene Powell Jobs invests in Reese Witherspoon’s production company, women weigh in on Bernie Sanders 2020, and we wonder if Glenn Close’s Oscars drought will end Sunday night. Have a terrific Thursday.
• Ready for her Close-up. Heading into Oscars night on Sunday, many eyes will be on Glenn Close, the esteemed actress who’s nominated in the "best actress" category for her leading role in The Wife.
As this Washington Post story notes, the 71-year-old, for all her achievements—three Tonys, three Emmys, and three Golden Globes—has been nominated for an Academy Award seven times but has never won. Reviews of The Wife, which heralded her performance, noted that she may be one of the “most criminally under-praised...actresses of her generation.”
Close, a favorite to win on Sunday, has been hitting the late night and morning talk show circuit in the lead-up to the Oscars, but one interview stood out to me. She talked to NPR’s Audie Cornish about how long it took to make The Wife, an adaptation of Meg Wolitzer’s 2003 novel—some 14 years.
One problem: no male American actor would play Close’s husband in the film—a role that would give him second-billing.
"Think about it,” Close told Cornish. “[A]ctors, star actors have big egos—that nobody wanted to be in a film called The Wife.” British actor Jonathan Pryce ultimately ended up opposite Close. 2018 saw more women star in top movies than in any other year since 2007, so male actors might find it useful to follow Pryce's lead.
"He said, 'Too bad it's not called The Husband.' I mean, you know—but that's the thankless part of the film. Here I am with all this acclaim, and he has not gotten anything out of it. And that's why I love Jonathan Pryce for what he did," Close said.
The film's long wait reached a satisfying conclusion with its release last year; Sunday night will determine if Close's will culminate in the same way.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Hello, Laurene. Laurene Powell Jobs, who owns a majority stake in The Atlantic through the Emerson Collective, invested in Reese Witherspoon's production company, Hello Sunshine. Powell Jobs' media empire grows, this time with a focus on improving opportunities for women in Hollywood. Bloomberg
• Heads up! There's no "keeping your head down" for this year's class of freshman representatives. Katie Hill, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and others are bypassing the sexist trope—signaling a real shift of the old guard in Congress. Refinery29
• Mind the gap. The BBC analyzed the gender pay gap at companies across the U.K.—a popular topic given the U.K. government's rules requiring companies to disclose some of those figures. Banks are among the worst offenders, and four in 10 firms reported worse numbers than they did a year ago. BBC
• Feeling the Bern? Now that Bernie Sanders has entered the 2020 presidential race, the hot takes are coming in. Refinery29 talks to millennial women who are still behind the Vermont senator. And in The Guardian, Moira Donegan argues there's no reason to vote for Sanders—with his Bernie Bro baggage—with Elizabeth Warren also in the race.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Serena Williams joins the board of Poshmark, adding to her other board position at SurveyMonkey. CNN made a controversial move in hiring Sarah Isgur Flores, a former spokesperson for Jeff Sessions in the Justice Department without a background in journalism, as a political editor.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Even Geniuses need childcare. Topic has an interesting piece asking 15 people who received sudden windfalls how the money changed—or didn't change—their lives. One response from astrophysicist Sara Seager, who won the MacArthur Genius grant, stands out: "They asked, 'What are you going to spend the money on?' I said, 'I’m going to spend it all on household help so I can spend more time with my kids and more time on my job.'" Topic
• Making hair-story. Earlier this week, New York City took a much-needed step to protect city-dwellers from discrimination based on their hair and hairstyles, by including that bias under racial discrimination statutes. People who have lost jobs, been kicked out of school, or targeted in public settings because of their locs, braids, or other kinds of natural hair now have legal protections and can sue. New York Times
• Going far with barre. The past few months have shown that Saudi Arabia's steps forward for women might have been little more than a public relations campaign. But businesses are still moving forward on expanding to the kingdom—including, perhaps surprisingly, the barre studio chain Physique 57. Inc.'s Maria Aspan traveled to Riyadh with founders Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi and Tanya Becker as they introduce barre classes to Saudi women. Inc.
• Dressing up data. Fast Company examines how Katrina Lake's Stitch Fix uses data. "Algorithms drive Stitch Fix's every move," the story says, and allow the company to turn over its inventory six times a year compared to department stores' four. Fast Company
ON MY RADAR
The curse of the Twitter reply guy Mashable
How Documentary Now! spoofs male genius The Atlantic
Skier Mikaela Shiffrin rules the world by knowing what she can't do Deadspin