Martin Scorsese rejects question about the lack of female lead characters in his films

The director was asked about female characters during a press conference at the Rome Film Festival last night

Martin Scorsese has rejected a question about the lack of female protagonists in his films, saying that “that’s not even a valid point” to make.

The director was speaking at a press conference at the Rome Film Festival yesterday (October 21) to promote his new film The Irishman when he made the comments.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that a member of the Italian press asked Scorsese about the lack of prominent female roles in his films, which prompted a response from the “somewhat frustrated” director.


“No. That’s not even a valid point. That’s not valid,” Scorsese said. “I can’t…. That goes back to 1970. That’s a question that I’ve had for so many years.”

The Irishman
Scorsese’s latest film The Irishman

Asking his regular producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff, who was also on the panel, if he was “supposed to” produce female-fronted films, Scorsese added: “If the story doesn’t call for it…. It’s a waste of everybody’s time. If the story calls for a female character lead, why not?”

Koskoff then cited Alice Doesn’t Live Here and Casino as examples of Scorsese films with strong female characters. But Scorsese, who also added Age of Innocence to that list, said “they don’t count that”.

Casino. Sharon Stone’s great in that. They don’t count that. Forget it,” he said.

“Sure, I’d like to do [female-fronted films],” Scorsese continued. “But you know what, I’m 76 now. How am I going to have the time?


“I don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t know. I don’t have time anymore.”

Martin Scorsese’s recent comments about Marvel films, which he labelled as “despicable”, were recently backed by his fellow director Francis Ford Coppola.