Andrea Riseborough Calls on U.K. Film Industry to Commit to Time's Up's 4 Percent Challenge

Andrea Riseborough - Getty H - 2018
Credit: Tara Ziemba / Getty

She becomes the first British star to commit to working with a female director over the next 18 months.

To mark International Women's Day, Andrea Riseborough has announced her commitment to working with a female director over the next 18 months as part of the Time's Up movement's "4 percent challenge."

The actress and producer — star of The Death of Stalin and Mandy and a campaigner for Time's Up — has also teamed with Time's Up U.K. chair Heather Rabbatts to call on the British film industry to follow suit, highlighting how only 4 percent of the top 1,200 studio films were directed by women

“We are urging the film industry here in the U.K. to be purposeful in how inclusion is advocated for. That’s why Time's Up and the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative initiated the #4PercentChallenge, and we are delighted to announce Andrea Riseborough’s commitment to the challenge, the first British actor to do so since Tessa Thompson formally launched it at Sundance earlier this year,” said Rabbatts.

“The idea meritocracy once existed and is now dying because of ‘inclusion’ is an illusion. Inclusion is a cultural necessity," added Riseborough. "Mine is an influential industry and its fruits effect our social consciousness. I’m committing to working with a female director in the next 18 months because although women make up 50 percent of moviegoers only four percent of studio films are directed by women. On projects directed by women we have statistics to prove more women also end up onscreen and behind the camera."

Speaking recently to The Hollywood Reporter, Riseborough said that — just over a year on from the formation of Time's Up in January 2018 — there had already been some noticeable improvements in the film industry when it came to gender parity. "The really big change now is that if I'm playing number one in a film and a guy is playing number two, I can be asked to be paid as much as him," she said. "I can ask the question and they wouldn't fire me."

Riseborough, who is set to play the lead in the upcoming remake of The Grudge, also added that the Time's Up movement had become a recognizable name.

"When I talk to women now and when I wear my Time's Up pin, they know exactly what it is, they talk to me instantly and they want to know how to donate. It happens all the time," she said. "Certainly people know now what Time's Up means, that time is up on inequality, really." 

In committing to the 4 percent challenge, the star joins a growing list of industry talent from the U.S. who have also signed up, including Brie Larson, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez and Natalie Portman.

Many studios are also committing to the challenge, including Amazon Studios, Legendary Entertainment, MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation and Paramount Players, STX Entertainment, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Dreamworks Animation) and Warner Bros.