TV, Film, and Entertainment News Daily

‘Punisher: War Zone’s’ Lexi Alexander on Challenges Faced By Female Directors

lexi alexander4

No matter how supportive you might be to the idea that genre movies need to be more inclusive and diverse, it can be easy to fall back on timeworn, provocative arguments to make your case. But filmmaker Lexi Alexander, an outspoken advocate for equality in Hollywood, is uniquely capable of cutting through all of that rhetoric – perhaps not unlike the dozens of foes her antihero dispatches in the wonderfully bloody Punisher: War Zone. Speaking to the overlooked human dimensions of the moviemaking industry’s double standards, she clarifies the ways in which women and non-white directors have gone overlooked and underrepresented, without resorting to polemicizing and, perhaps more effectively, without merely complaining.

Alexander reached out to me in February in response to an interview I conducted with American Psycho director Mary Harron, in which I reductively referenced Alexander in a question about the challenge for female filmmakers to find work. A few weeks later, she was kind enough to participate in a thoughtful, in-depth conversation about her efforts, in particular on her blog, to be an industry advocate. What was originally intended to be a brief chat evolved into a discussion about the need for change in terms of equal access, and institutional and cultural perception of women and minorities in entertainment as Hollywood moviemaking continues to exert its influence around the globe.

In this first installment of a two-part interview, Alexander discusses Hollywood preconceptions about directors, how those work against women, why she’s speaking out about the problem, and the domination of the young-adult genre by male filmmakers.

Spinoff Online: Maybe just to get started, for the purposes of like someone who might not understand, what has been misinterpreted in characterizing your blog posts as an expression of frustration with being able to find work?

Lexi Alexander: Well, somebody forwarded me your interview with Mary Harron, who I love, and all of a sudden I see my name in one of your questions and I believe it was phrased, “Lexi Alexander recently wrote a blog about her frustrations of finding work.” And you weren’t the only one, but I think it caught me off-guard in that moment because I had thought I had clarified it before. And I kept reading over it, thinking, where did people see that this was in any way even slightly [about work] – because the bigger point of it was so much more about the status quo and what’s going on. And [the original blog post] was really kind of motivated by a union meeting I went to, and the constant studies and articles that come out about the bleak numbers. It feels like the few of us who are actually out there working don’t exist, if people constantly keep saying, “Where are the women directors?” And then on top of it, it was just about a different subject. I think had I done it about me not finding work, a much better time would have been after I made the movie Green Street Hooligans and people were writing that Hollywood will be knocking, this woman can’t be stopped, and watch where she goes – and then nothing comes, and all I get to do is the Punisher. That’s the time when I should have written, “Look, this is fucked up, and this happens because I’m a woman.” Because people kept comparing me to Guy Ritchie, and I can’t see him having a movie like Green Street that brings both jury and audience awards, and then not getting anything following up. But I think it might have been [I didn’t write it then] because I also was not interested in the subject. So now it’s just really important that this blog was written. But I also think it’s a little bit unfair to those who do send me work, some of the, how would you say, like smaller studios that are big fans and are always sending me stuff. And I notoriously pass on certain things that are very much in the field of Punisher. And so it’s unfair to them if they think I’m out there saying I don’t get work.

Absolutely. I especially went back and I reread the blog post, and I totally understand that it is about sort of diagnosing or describing the way that the industry does not support diversity and equality. Is there a specific solution to this problem, or do you feel like there is a way that Hollywood will get around to doing this without having for it to be a confrontation?

No, to be honest, and a lot of us are discussing it with each other. And that’s the sad part about it. I think we have — and I can speak as part of the “collective we” now, but in the past I didn’t share this belief — because remember, it was years and years of interviews where I stated that I don’t believe there’s gender discrimination, and when I was starting up my thought was that Hollywood worked with anybody who makes the money. Isn’t it just about who is the best? Because they don’t care if you’re an eight-eyed monster if you make the money, frankly. That’s what I thought. I didn’t understand the kind of how deep gender discrimination and sexism even subconsciously goes. Like, the idea that, to them, a director will always look like Quentin [Tarantino] or Steven Spielberg or a young Spike Jonze. And even if they’re not aware of it, they cannot get over that if you’re kind of like the cool young guy in the baseball hat, and preferably you worked in a video store, it’s hard to get past their kind of deep-rooted picture of what a director looks like. And I think in the meantime – and this is what the numbers tell us – it has gotten so bad that agents would refuse to sign women, even if a woman has a movie that wins a festival or that gets good reviews at a festival. It’s not as likely that she gets signed as a guy. A guy will be hunted by the top five agencies. So we’ve gone so far with it and it’s gotten so bad and the numbers are so small, that now to remedy it we have to literally now be drastic, I think. We have to get a type of quota going so that people see. And the women that are now coming in are not just the usual hacks without experience. They’re actually really solid directors and writers. And guess what? They’ve been out there all along.

One of the things that wasn’t clear to me when I read the pieces was when you talked about another female director saying, “I’m one of the boys, and I am not trying to distinguish myself.” How important is that distinction to you? I mean, is it a matter of going, “I am just like everybody else?” Or is it that you feel that specifically women’s voices are not being either supported or heard or encouraged?

lexi alexander2Well, I’m sure you know I’m a woman who makes very male-oriented movies. So I’ve never looked at it from the perspective of like, “Look, you have all these dumb action movies because you don’t ask women to direct them.” That would be wrong. And I think I made a movie that killed more people in the first act than any movie in the last 30 years! So I’m looking at it in general, in the way they see us – the female directors as an investment versus the guy. I mean, in some studios if a woman is announced on a movie, somebody told me that there’s a proven fact that the shares drop. So this has gotten into the collective consciousness now and this is a really dangerous thing. I would like to be just a director. But somebody asked me just the other day on Twitter if it bothered me if I’m called a female director. And, you know, I don’t think it does at the moment, because I think we need to be aware of how rare it is. I mean, the lists that go out that you guys don’t know about and nobody really ever digs for them, directors’ lists on certain movies, they barely have women on there. And if it’s a token woman, sometimes they even discuss – and executives told me they discuss in the room to put the woman on that they know is either booked at the time or they know will say no to this. So now they look like they have a woman on, but they also know she won’t ever say yes to it. And so in my opinion, there’s so many of you guys out there that are writing good stuff in entertainment, but I feel like nobody digs. Nobody actually goes, “What’s going on there?” It’s funny because I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary Harron – I mean, just imagine if a man would have done American Psycho. How much do you think this man would have worked? And this is the thing that nobody does: Nobody compares careers. Like, this is really what made me aware of it, was if you kind of compare directors that started with you. Like, I was often compared to people, like, either the English guys, or I remember when I first went out on meetings, I was compared to a guy named David Gordon Green.

Sure.

Yeah, you look at him, and he has made some films that reminded people of this film I made called Johnny Flynton. This was at the very beginning of my career. But then you look around and you start realizing, oh, the same rules don’t count for him as count for me. He can have a flop and continues to work – I can’t. Those kinds of things. Mary Harron, it’s unexplainable to me that she didn’t get one movie after another. I mean, the quality of American Psycho reminds me of Memento, and look at where that guy is.

As a matter of fact, in the introduction to the Mary Harron interview I did for Spinoff Online, I sort of postulated that if Bryan Singer were the director of American Psycho, what might have happened? I was drawing that comparison.

Yeah, oh, absolutely. And I think that it’s kind of hidden, like nobody talks about it. I don’t think everybody’s completely aware of it. I mean, this is my profession and even I myself didn’t notice this until I was in the middle of my career, when I suddenly went, wait a minute. That guy who started with me didn’t have more films that made more money or won more prizes. And quite the contrary, there’s a few who actually had a lot less critical acclaim, if they go up the ladder like this and yet it wasn’t like that for me, and you find, like, 10 examples of them, and then you look at other women and you see the same thing, that’s when you start seeing a pattern, and one that I think is very dangerous. And that’s why I’m so offended that the people think it was because I’m not finding work. Could I use more work? Am I not getting the things that I always dreamed of getting? Of course. But I can’t say that that’s not also happening to a lot of guy directors. But the reason I’m speaking out now and which I really blame other women for not doing in our industry, is now I’ve spoken at colleges. I’ve met young, you know, 18-, 19-, 20-year-old girls who want to be filmmakers. And I feel like we have a responsibility. And I think some of us have to actually fight to remedy this. Otherwise there’ll be a lot of broken hearts. And frankly I’m not sure that we want a film industry that is run completely by white men.

When I interviewed Mary, I sort of prefaced one of my questions to her by saying, “I’m sort of sorry that I even have to ask this, because I wouldn’t ask it of a male filmmaker.” But the idea of having a female sensibility as opposed to a male, I would never ask a male filmmaker, or maybe almost never, about that idea. What is the conversation that you think needs to be happening or what questions do you feel like need to be asked and to whom in order to get this conversation going in a more productive or constructive way?

Alexander with Elijah Wood on the set of "Green Street Hooligans"

Alexander with Elijah Wood on the set of “Green Street Hooligans”

Well, what I’m waiting for really is, I’ve seen it happen once in a while, but I think that the fact, and especially having done a comic book movie, I realize there is a certain mass out there in Twitter and social media – everybody’s much more involved in the process of making movies. It’s not like in the old days anymore, where nobody knows anything about a movie until it comes out. I mean, everybody from day one, it’s we’re making this movie and who’s on the shortlist. And I always think it’s very funny to me, because once in a while somebody from a comic book blog would put me on a list: “There’s really nobody better [for this] than Lexi Alexander.” And these are not the kind of people I think would even know who I am or hang out with me, and the fact that some 18-, 19-year-old kid who’s, like, a comic book geek thinks that I’m the best director is so progressive. I mean, that is the world we’re dreaming of, because he doesn’t see gender and it’s probably not even a cool thing to do. He just sees that I’m the best director for it. And so this happens. I’m on this list and then other people say yeah, you’re absolutely right. And they get completely ignored. And I’ve seen this consistently. I’ve seen this about black directors or Hispanic directors. And then somehow the studio will go with the kind of name nobody thought of because he doesn’t even fit in the genre, but it’s safe for the studio because it’s one of their boys, one of their in-house kind of guys. And they totally ignore all of the blogs out there. But what I think needs to happen is people out there need to realize that they have the power. If they put down a director that you don’t believe in, don’t go, don’t buy the ticket. And I think you would be helping all of us so much.

I don’t know how specifically you feel comfortable talking about this, but I feel like we assume or we hope that the Christopher Nolans of the world, these male auteurs that we associate with these giant blockbuster movies, have this deep emotional attachment or this deep passion for them. Are there super heroes or characters or properties that you have had that kind of passion for that you would love to have been able to do – your version of The Dark Knight or some character like that?

Yeah, but here’s what’s funny. I’ve said this honestly on podcasts, I’ve said this several times: I was never a comic book person, and I actually said I often wonder that if that isn’t a bad choice, for the studio to go with somebody who openly said in a meeting, “Look, I didn’t read these comic books.” But see again they don’t really care. They wanted somebody cheap and I was available (laughs). So the comic book has never been my world, and frankly I think that Chris Nolan and Zack Snyder are, like, the real comic book guys, and I think most of these guys are much better for comic books. But here’s for example a genre, the young-adult genre. In my career it just started and I’d unfortunately already said yes to Punisher, and I said yes because I needed to take a studio film. And so I just missed the time where young-adult was getting really big. But if you look on my iPad, I probably have every young-adult book out there that’s ever broken into the top 200 books on the bestseller list. I read them consistently in several languages, before they even come out here sometimes. And so that, to me, is a genre that, I would have loved to [explore], and on many of the movies that are out there now. And I just heard the other day [from] a manager whose clients just took on a young-adult project. And I don’t want to name who this director is, but I happen to know that that’s not his thing. Like definitely that’s not his thing. He would never buy a book like that. It’s just not something that is in his interest. And so I said to his agent, hey, what’s up with so and so? Is he suddenly interested in YA movies? And his agent said, “No, it’s just the only thing I can get for him right now. He’s a little bit in director’s jail.” So I have to sit on the sidelines. And by the way I’m not only talking about me. I would bet you there are hundreds of women, because young-adult literature, I would say more women read it than men, more girls read it than boys. And they’re usually written by women. And yet again, somehow we have managed to diminish that Twilight made money and it became a thing. It turned into all white men. I think there’s a good Tumblr you should check out, called Hollywood Boys Club. And that’s the first time I’d seen it. Like, I couldn’t actually believe it, that once they became moneymakers, they went to these guys – look at this list of these guys and tell me who you think has Hunger Games in their library. Or any of the others, The Fault in Our Stars, and any of these films that these guys are doing – it’s just like we’ve all literally been sidelined and kicked out. Instead of coming to the women who actually read these books, now it’s become a money game. Now it has to be the same white guy who’s doing Batman or whatever. So that’s what’s frustrating.

Well, if I may just follow up then, is there a young-adult series that you especially love, whether it’s past, present or future that you care enough about that you think that you could like really knock out of the park?

I would say if I tell you there’s a certain series, then it becomes, like, this thing that everybody writes again and again and again with different headlines, and so I feel like I’m stepping into a bad area. But I can tell you this: Pretty much all of the prominent ones, the sci-fi ones, I’ve read them all and I didn’t read them with making a movie in mind. I read them because I’m a fan. So yeah, I mean, I’m interested in pretty much all of them, but I mean, I don’t even go in these meetings because I don’t know if I would get a meeting, frankly. And I don’t go in because I know they don’t want to hire me for them. So it’s kind of a lost cause.

The discussion concludes on Monday.

EDIT: May 5 @ 9:45 AM PT: Spinoff has edited some aspects of this interview for clarity.

News From Our Partners

Comments

  • Richard Casey

    You wanna know the reason she’s struggling to get work? SHE MADE PUNSIHER WAR ZONE. At one point Frank actually PUNCHES THROUGH A PERSON’S FACE, even without that stylized hyper violence, the flick was horrible, failing in every area. And then her dvd commentary is mostly just her saying how certain shots in the flick are exact recreations of specific comic book panels. Yeah. That’s what we wanna see.

  • chien_clean

    War Zone was the worst movie I had ever seen.

  • Other Chris

    War Zone is one of the better comic book movies.

    Yeah, you read that right.

    It’s certainly better than the two previous Punisher films. She captured the gritty feel and absurdism of Ennis’s work, and she deserves credit for that. I wish more filmmakers took her approach when tackling these genre heroes. That movie is faithful to the comics, and that is a very rare thing indeed.

  • Other Chris

    So you *don’t* want the comic recreated on the big screen? You’re the reason why these movies (War Zone aside) are so completely foreign from their comic book origins, and shoddy products in general.

  • Roger_S

    War Zone was horrible. The script, acting, even the lighting was abysmal. I have no problem with a woman directing a movie like Punisher, but she wasn’t the right director for that movie.

  • Bebeto Chupeta lvl 5

    War Zone it’s one of the most awful movies I’ve ever seen. Very crappy and cheesy movie. And yeah, was violent and bloody as the Ennis’s work, but without style it’s just useless.

    I really hope someday a talented director make a good movie about Frank, someone like Scorcese or Tarantino.

  • Loser McLose

    I remember watching Jane Campions The Piano which is a masterpiece and she nearly disappeared after that, is being a woman one of the reasons for that I don`t know.

    The comicbook movie makers always talk up how big fans they are of the comics just hire Lexi for a trilogy of young adult book movie adaptations already. She would have been perfect for the Hunger Games, probably made them a 100 times better.

  • mel

    Totally agree. Felt like I was watching Ennis’ Punisher throughout.

  • Drew

    That’s part of the issue, Ennis is a bit of niche writer in my mind. I mean he’s good, his style is just very niche to me. Coupled with the fact it’s a film, it doesn’t work out too great. I mean I love the fact it’s faithful, but Ennis’s work isn’t very compatible with massive audiences in my mind. Also the movie made $10 million at the box office with a $30 million dollar budget, whether it be a marketing fail, or a director fail, that’s a kiss of death.

  • Blade X

    I agree. PWJ, IMO, was a damn good movie and was the best Punisher movie to date. I think that the movie is very underrated.

  • Patrick Bateman

    I get that this is a comic book blog and all, but this isn’t about Punisher War Zone.

    She makes a very valid point. Especially in the case of Harron. American Psycho is a masterpiece of suspense and horror. I pray for more diversity when it comes to the directors and producers of future movies. I’m getting sick and tired of seeing names like Michael Bay and Zack Snyder. Couple of misogynist weirdos with very limited vision.

  • Deacon Hagan

    no she Capture the *I don’t give a F*ck about this anymore*Ennis
    The Jane movie capture The ” I am trying to salvage this property, because I like the Punisher” Ennis and mixed in the Awesome Punisher: Year One by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

  • Other Chris

    One more time, in english please?

  • Brian from Canada

    The interview would have had more weight for me had it not mentioned directors like Tarantino, Spielberg, Jonze, Ritchie, Nolan and Snyder. Tarantino and Jonze write their own movies, and then go looking for financing. Spielberg finances his own movies to direct. Ritchie is linked to Britain, not America, and there aren’t many American directors rushing over to make films in the UK at the moment. Snyder only does comic book movies because his others are disasters (Sucker Punch anyone?) and Nolan only got carte blanche after making the first billion dollar movie for WB.

    Really, it should be about the money. She’s right on that. And it’s a shame some agents don’t want female directors.

    But let’s face it: most of the directors today we can name today pretty much write their own projects and direct with a style that’s unique enough to identify. The rest are either picked because of past movies that a producer happens to remember, or because the star wants them.

  • Cass

    Great discussion. I’m looking forward to part 2. I wish that more people the movie industry would speak out against institutionalized sexism. It’s pathetic to see so many commenters whose takeaway from the interview was “I didn’t like Punisher, so fuck her and everything she says. ‘murica! #whitemaleconsumerentitlement.” How about some acknowledgement that there’s a bigger problem at work than a fucking movie being bad?

  • Ben

    So she was never a “comic book person” her words, not mine. Any wonder why Punisher Warzone bombed? And this coming from someone who loves Ray Stevenson. Must because the world is out to get her and sexism, racism, and other “isms”. Not because she makes bad movies…. Got it.

  • Yer Maw

    Alexander’s biggest success was with a British movie (Green Street) which was compared to Richie’s work, so that’s why she mentioned him – and Richie has gone on to Hollywood since his Brit-thriller days, which is kind of the point.

  • Tophman

    Technically Snyder’s superhero film “Watchmen” wasn’t a financial success either (nor a critical one at that -even though I enjoyed it myself)…. besides even though “Sucker Punch” wasn’t based on any existing comic book… it still fits in the genre that he (Zack Snyder) has been pigeonholed in (most likely because he understands the material and has a good grasp of visual storytelling).

  • Tophman

    I don’t know if it’s just me but Alexander is sounding like an opinionated bitter woman who’s complaining about not being able to break through the boys’ club in Hollywood (though I’m not denying it doesn’t exist). This is all while neglecting to mention successful female directors like Kathryn Bigelow, Sofia Coppola, Gale Ann Hurd, or Penny Marshall just to name a few. Sure most female directors are doing romcoms, dramas, and the like but I suppose it’s what society expects.

    Most guys (and I’m just trying to go into the head of a Hollywood producer here) grew up thinking that women == drama, men == action. These are the socially driven stereotypes that have been part of civilization for a long time (women == caregivers, men == protectors). Unless society changes and the more enlightened people take the reigns of Hollywood’s big studios, things aren’t gonna change anytime soon.

    I also see personality as being a factor in getting the big job. Like in real life, I see a lot of talented engineers and programmers get passed over for someone with half the talent & skill but twice the social charisma to get their foot in the door. Knowing how to make people want to work with you is the best way to get ahead in any major endeavor.

    My point is: simply blaming Hollywood for this ‘inequality’ is not productive. Want to make a movie. Write your own movie and shop it around until your knuckles, feet, and vocal chords bleed. If that fails, work out the funding and make it yourself. Get your work out there as many times as you can. With the advent of the Internet & YouTube, there’s no excuse for getting your stuff seen and noticed.

    PS: Although I had some issues with certain overtly & unnecessarily graphic scenes in “Punisher War Zone”, I did enjoy it immensely.

    PPS: Ms Alexander… if you want to do young adult stuff… then create a pitch for one you’re passionate about and shop it around. Oh, and you may want to hire a new agent.

  • Keener

    Ok…Here’s what I got out of the article. Hollywood is sexist because she’s not getting big budget movies offered to her. She’s directed one good movie and one movie that didn’t do well. Maybe others but don’t remember seeing them mentioned. She’s getting directorial offers from movie companies, but doesn’t want to take them because of the genre of the movie. She’s interested in certain genres but doesn’t go to “interview” for them, because they wouldn’t hire her anyway. And yet because the companies aren’t calling her it’s the companies fault. I’ve don’t have the experience she does in this area, but it seems to me that in something like directing, or writing, or anything you have to go through a bunch of no to get to the yes. I’m just confused by the fact that she’s not taking work offered to her, and not attending hiring meetings that it’s someone elses fault that she isn’t getting the directing oppurtunities she’s looking to get.

  • CogInTheWheel

    If it’s recreated, panel for panel. What in the hell is the point of making a movie based on the source material.

    Just because you love cheese-fest movies and are probably a BBC regular…..doesnt mean everyone else wants SyFy channel vomit. Save that junk for Sharknado.

  • kirsten863

    My Uncle Michael
    recently got a stunning black Mercedes-Benz GL-Class GL63 AMG only from working
    part time off a home pc. navigate to this web-site C­a­s­h­D­u­t­i­e­s­.­ℂ­o­m

  • CogInTheWheel

    ….If you make bad movies, people wont hire you. If you make bad movies, dont attend meetings, and have this “no one likes me as a director, therefor, sexism or some other form of persecution! but DEFINITELY persecution” mindset….even less people will want to deal with you.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_female_film_and_television_directors

    Pull the panties up, actually WORK on something that the masses would enjoy (in other words, dont make a Punisher movie while not being a comic book fan in the slightest and just echoing panels in order to meet a quota) and learn to work in genres that are alien to you.

    I dont like a lot of music genres, doesnt mean I’ll turn down engineering jobs just because it’s pop or country.

  • Other Chris

    Hahahaha

  • Stephen Smith

    “Strong women don’t play victim, don’t make themselves look pitiful and don’t point fingers. They stand and they deal.” ~ Mandy Hale

  • goldknight1

    screw what everyone else thinks. Punisher War Zone was great and MUCH better than what came before it.
    It had a campy moment or two, what “superhero” movie doesnt?

  • TaumpyTearrs

    I another interview she talked about how since she WASN’T a comics fan, she reached out to the Punisher fan community online. She asked them what did and didn’t work in the previous adaptations, and she asked them what stuff from the comic they would like to see in the movie. THEN she read some of Ennis’ Punisher run based on fan recommendations. This is far more consideration than most directors take.

    As a result, she made a movie that mixed the tone and style of both Ennis’ Punisher runs (including his original character Detective Soap), added in some of Punisher’s more comic-book-y iconic supporting characters (Microchip and Jigsaw), and lit and shot the whole thing so it looked like the actual comic art. AND the one part of the movie that is not from the comic at all, Jigsaw’s brother Loony Bin Jim, felt like he would have fit in perfectly to Ennis’ run on the comic. It is one of the closest comic adaptations we will ever see.

    It also opened on December 5 with very little promotion, which is basically leaving the movie for dead. Holiday season is for family movies and awards movies, not ultra-violent 80s action throwbacks.

  • Ben

    It was still a bad comic book movie. That’s not a rarity. Unfortunately.. I just resent the “tone” she uses of saying she is being held back by the “man.” It’s so cliche and very very tired. Like most grievance peddlers in modern society, the poor down trodden woman in the work force, etc is utter bs. Women make choices as individuals that effect their careers and what they decide to do with their lives. If you want the big chair, you need to EARN it with success. And so far Lexi Alexander’s product doesn’t show the industry is ready. I’m hope I’m wring and she does get a huge success, but if Punisher Warzone is anything to go by, I doubt it.

  • Dougie Brimson

    As someone who worked with Alexander on Green Street and had well documented differences, I was sent this article in the hope that I would comment.

    Tempting though that might be, suffice to say that there are very specific reasons she doesn’t get hired and despite the feminist hype, it has little or nothing to do with her gender.

  • Harry Ballz

    Anyone familiar with the Punisher comics could tell that whoever directed War Zone was clueless in regards to Castle and the tone of the comics. I love Ray Stevenson, but he was totally wasted in this laughably awful “film”.

    Someone needs to do a proper Punisher movie. Lexi Alexander (who?) completely failed. Seeing her quote about not being a fan is the least surprising thing I’ve read all year.

  • Manny Fal

    Could also be management problem. Women are famous for being worse managers of people than men. And alot of popular directors are famous for attracting a talented loyal team. Snyder, Bay, Richie have first rate loyal crews.Hollywood isn’t just a boys club, it’s a person club, and if female directors cannot thrive in a large team environment, nobody will want to work with them.