Hollywood South actresses & stunt women taking a stand

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)-  With Hollywood South booming, you'd think there would be plenty of opportunities for actresses and stunt women right?

Well, that's not always the case, so a group of actresses and stunt women are taking a stand against the male-dominated movie industry.

News with a Twist's Kenny Lopez takes a look at a new campaign which aims to even out the playing field.

"We want to mimic America, 50 percent women and 50 percent men, but we don't see that too much in movies.  We're not here to cause trouble.  We just want an equal opportunity,"  Jazzy Ellis, a Hollywood South stunt woman, actress in "D-Train" and "Selma" and producer, said.

Leigh Hennessy is a stunt woman, stunt coordinator, and world champion gymnast.  She spearheaded a new campaign called, "Louisiana Stuntwomen's Initiative" to make a change in the male-dominated movie industry.  Hennessy has worked on such films as "G.I. Jane" and "Charlie's Angels".

"Roles for women are less than 30 percent and instead of going up every year, they get less and less.  We just want the industry to think where they can put more women,"  she said.

Work for stunt women is even less at 15 percent.

The "Louisiana Stuntwomen's Initiative" primarily works to get women more roles.  Their slogan is "think women, cast women."

Wendy Miklovic Neisler is an established stunt woman and actress.  She's known for her work on "Now you See Me", "Ender's Game" and "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes".

She said, "Let's be aware and let's change things.  Women are qualified.  We need to create these opportunities for women that might have automatically gone to men just because of habit."

Movies powered by women like "Bridesmaids" and "Hunger Games" have proven that there's a market for women-fueled flicks.  A new "Ghostbusters" starring an all-female cast is also in the works.

These talented women feel a change can happen with the help of movie-goers.

"We got to get people to ask, hey did you see that movie and how many women were in it?,"  Hennessy said.

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