Andie MacDowell said she had a panic attack brought on by the realization that she was the only woman on the set of a movie she directed in 2016.
Speaking to Marie Claire, MacDowell said she “fell down to [her] knees” after the incident, which occurred the day after Donald Trump was elected president.
“I was really disturbed that no one seemed to care about the vagina[-grabbing] comment,” she said. “I had gotten really sad. I went to do a job, a day at work, and I had my first ever panic attack. I was getting ready to shoot something, and I turn around and it’s like a room full of men. Like a sea of men. He flashed on something that was personal to me. And I fell to my knees.”
MacDowell said she retreated to a fake bathroom on set to try and calm down, looking at herself in the mirror and saying, “‘Gather your bullshit.’ It freaked me out not seeing any other women. It’s not that I have anything against men. I don’t know! I don’t like big groups of them. Ever since then , I became very aware of looking around and finding the women on set. For comfort.”
MacDowell did not name the production she was working on when she had the panic attack. She shot three films released in 2017: Only the Brave, a film about elite firefighters by Josh Brolin/Miles Teller; Love After Love, about two grieving siblings; and the Netflix Christmas comedy Christmas Legacy. All three had predominantly male crews.
Speaking while promoting Love After Love, MacDowell spoke of being surprised by the sight of herself filming her first nude scene, aged 59, in particular “how I looked sad. The only reason I could do that is because I know that sadness. It made me feel more vulnerable than being naked. It had no effect on me , being naked, which is fascinating.
Speaking to Marie Claire, MacDowell said she thinks the rise of the #MeToo movement in 2017 meant “you see the difference on set. There are a lot more women.”