Max Mara, Women in Film Celebrate Alexandra Shipp as Face of the Future

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Alexandra Shipp

The stars of 'Riverdale,' '13 Reasons Why' and 'Love, Simon' talk about female representation for young Hollywood.

Three of the top teen dramas collided Tuesday night at the Chateau Marmont.

Fashion brand Max Mara hosted a cocktail party to celebrate Women in Film's 2018 Face of the Future recipient Alexandra Shipp (X-Men). The awards ceremony will take place Wednesday at the Beverly Hilton.

It was a reunion of sorts, with plenty of champagne flowing. Dressed in a black Max Mara pant suit, Shipp celebrated with her co-star Katherine Langford of Love, Simon, the coming-out story of a high school boy. And Langford was welcomed by her fellow castmembers from Netflix's 13 Reasons Why — Anne Winters and Alisha Boe. Inside the chateau's garden-party setup, Riverdale stars Cami Mendes and Madelaine Petsch chatted with Langford; Winters introduced herself to Mendes and Hart Denton (Riverdale); and Boe stopped to meet Gabrielle Ruiz of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

DJ Mia Moretti kept the music going while the young faces of Hollywood made their rounds, posing in front of a leafy backdrop or in a photo booth. Other attendees included Jaime King, Abigail Spencer, January Jones, Lucy Hale and Erika Christensen.

The actresses talked with The Hollywood Reporter about what they hope their generation brings to Hollywood and how it hopefully will change its culture for the better.

Shipp, 26, says she was honored to be the first African-American woman to receive the Women in Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award. “It's about darn time in this day and age that there's more and more representation, especially of women of color. And also it's this idea that women are supporting women. I want to continue that,” Shipp tells THR. “Women can help cultivate the next generation of women just through conversation.”

She continues: “I hope that this next generation, especially with the #MeToo movement and the Time's Up movement, is able to protect each other. I think what we've seen at least in the last couple of months is how strong we are together when we're united. So when it comes to these next generations, I just want a domino effect. I want everyone to be supporting everyone. No competition. We're not each others' competition. We're on the same team. Men are always supporting men. Women should start being together, and I think that's what we'll see with this next generation. But we're also seeing it now, and how beautiful is that?"

Langford says both of her works (13 Reasons Why and Love, Simon) are entertainment, but also resonated with people on a deeper level. “I think the new generation of Young Hollywood — or what I hope I can bring to it — is equal representation, promoting representation, telling stories that feel truthful but also relevant and also a general sense of community,” she tells THR.

Her co-star Winters agrees that the show can help shape the conversation, referencing a final scene on 13 Reasons Why when many female characters, even moms, speak about their sexual harassment stories, showing that many everyday people have experienced assault: “All these people in the show were also going through the same thing, and I thought that was really powerful. We want to know that you're not alone.”

Others pointed to the numbers, wanting to increase the amount of female directors. Amanda Brugel of The Handmaid’s Tale says about half of the show’s helmers are female: “I would like to see a heck of a lot more female directors.” She believes working with female directors isn’t “better or worse, it's different. And I welcome that difference, and it's lovely and refreshing. I would like to see more of it. There's a lot of women doing amazing work, but we could times that by 15.”

Jackie Tohn (GLOW) added that Hollywood is on the right track with female representation. “The numbers still need to even out, but I think it's really exciting for studio heads to see that when a woman writes a movie and stars in a movie, people go to it and it makes a lot of money,” she says. Tohn acknowledges Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for paving the way as writers, producers and stars.

As a stand-up comic, Tohn says she’s happy to be a part of the conversation about how females can have better support in the comedy community: “I'm in the space I always dreamed I would be in, where I could talk about women being hired and women being able to tell jokes and women being represented.”