Christopher Eccleston: “Patriarchy messes up… It also hurt me.

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By Creative Media News

Christophe Eccleston, the actor of Doctor Who, explains why he has always preferred working with women, how his mother and daughter inspire him, and why the unexpected surge of toxic male parts he’s being offered is a good thing.

Christopher Eccleston has always liked working with female directors because they create a “safer environment” for employees.

The 58-year-old actor stated on the red carpet at the Women in Film and Television Awards that while gender equality in the industry has improved over the years, there is still “a long way to go.”

Christopher eccleston: "patriarchy messes up… it also hurt me.
Christopher eccleston: "patriarchy messes up… it also hurt me.

He stated, “My 90-year-old mother has completely directed my life. I’ve always been drawn to female directors and theatre… I’ve always felt it to be a safer, more playful setting.

“Patriarchy messes up everyone. It also caused me harm, as you well know. So, having a nine-year-old daughter, I’ve been viewing the world through her eyes, and I feel, for example, my mother’s name is Elsie and she’s ninety. My daughter’s name is Esme, and she is nine years old. In terms of equality, Esme will enter a world that is vastly superior to the one my mother experienced. Thus, it’s pleasing to see that.”

Eccleston earned a National Television Award for playing the ninth incarnation of Doctor Who in the long-running BBC science fiction program, but he only stayed for one season.

Regarding his current roles, he stated, “I’m portraying a lot of toxic men right now.”

It is a sign, according to him, that more women are participating in the production from the top down and are examining subjects that male program producers may be less likely to bring to the screen.

Aside from gender equality, he says that socioeconomic diversity in the television and film industries remains a significant concern.

Regarding the next generation, Eccleston states, “I’ve instructed my daughter to oversee the National Theatre. I told her that if she wants to perform, she must also direct and produce.

“Because of what I’ve learned, if I had my time again as a member of the working class, I would pursue a position of authority rather than acting. I told her that she must either lead the National Theatre or become the prime minister.

“You want to be more than just an actor. Especially if you are a woman, you must produce direct, and I believe she will likely do so.”

Eccleston’s four-decade-long acting career has included performances on stage, on screen, and in film.

In addition to playing the title character in Doctor Who, he has acted in the eerie drama The Leftovers and collaborated with directors such as Danny Boyle and Michael Winterbottom.

Throughout his career, he has collaborated with the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, and Bristol Old Vic on stage.

As for writing, directing, or producing, Eccleston states categorically, “No, I’ll stick to acting.”

And while he feels that writers are “the most essential aspect of our industry,” he admits, “I lack the discipline to write,” adding, “Never cross the road without a bible.”

Regarding what the future holds for him, he laughs, “I’ll probably be cast as a progressively toxic man. There are plenty of them currently.”

The Women in Film and Television Awards, presented at the Hilton on Park Lane in London, honor the most brilliant women in front of and behind the camera in the United Kingdom.

Sue Barker, a sports presenter, and former tennis player were honored with a lifetime achievement award, Davina McCall received the best presenter, and We Are Lady Parts creator Nida Manzoor got the best director.

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