'Ocean's 8' Cast Promises 'This Is Not A Message Film' While Pushing Social Justice Messages

"I've never been in a movie with this many women"

Cate Blanchett, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter and Rihanna attend the 'Ocean's 8' World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall on June 5, 2018 in New York City.
Michael Stewart / Contributor / Getty Images

Want proof that social justice doesn't sell? Look no further than the all-female cast of "Ocean's 8" actually discouraging viewers from interpreting the film as a feminist statement.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Cate Blanchett encouraged moviegoers to have fun at "Ocean's 8" and expect little else. But in her attempt at an apolitical comment, Blanchett couldn't help but work in some identity politics for good measure.

"It's not a message film — it's a fun film," said Blanchett. "You’re watching this bunch of women pull off an insane and impossible heist. That’s always thrilling when people you are rooting for do something impossible, which is a bit opposite from what's going on in the world with women at the moment: Women encouraging other women to reach big, to dig deep."

Since "Ocean's 8" was intended to be a blockbuster, Blanchett said the makers specifically avoided going "too deep."

As Blanchett demonstrated, that doesn't mean the cast and crew of "Ocean's 8" have not used the opportunity to push a social justice message about gender equality in movie roles.

Actress Sarah Paulson thinks the all-female cast should become a norm in Hollywood circles.

"I’ve never been in a movie with this many women," she said. "You’re lucky if you have one female co-star who has any scenes with you. So to be with eight powerful women who are so extraordinary, it’s very special and very rare."

Paulson added that it would be "extraordinary if this became part of the norm and then we didn’t even have to qualify it by gender."

Actress Awkwafina said the movie proves that Hollywood is moving in the right direction, but stressed that "small-minded" people will always exist.

"I don't think this movie will help to end small-mindedness. Small-minded people will always be small-minded," says Awkwafina. "I want people to watch the movie and then form the opinion. [But] whether you like it or not, there’s more to come. Hollywood has been making a direction right now. These are the stories that we need and these are the stories that need to be told, so it’s going to be happen."

Awkwafina also felt that since the all-male "Ocean's 11" franchise got three sequels, they should get at least one more film. She says that without having seen even one weekend of box-office receipts.

The film has received largely mixed reviews, holding a 72% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Most critics agree the film accomplishes the same style and tone of the all-male franchise, while lacking originality in the heist-portion of the script.

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