inspirational women series: kathryn bigelow

The quality that I admire most about Kathyrn Bigelow is that she’s fearless. She’s not afraid of controversy. She’s not afraid to go against the status quo. And she’s not afraid of what others might think.

Kathyrn is the first woman to win the Best Director award in Oscar history – in addition to the first woman to win the Director’s Guild of America Award for directing AND the first woman to win a BAFTA Award for best director. Pretty darn impressive.


As a female director, she’s not afraid to go against the grain, working in genres that are typically very male-dominated. Her filme, The Hurt Locker, detailed a bomb squad’s dangerous role in the War in Iraq. Her most recent film, Zero Dark Thirty, chronicled the search for Osama Bin Laden…and while it was met with some controversy, it was my favorite non-romance-chick-flick movie yet.

A few things that I admire most about her:

1. She is a true artist. I didn’t realize this before, but Kathryn got started as a painter – and she even attended the San Francisco Art Institute! She then went on to study at Columbia University Film School. It’s clear through her work that she is a true artist – and it’s impressive for someone to have such passion for the arts in so many different mediums.

2. She likes to be challenged. Kathryn insisted on shooting her films in the Middle East – a decision that many companies avoid in favor of filming in Arizona, New Mexico, and other safer areas. According to Kathryn, “I like to direct those films that challenge my capabilities and demand complete dedication from me.” She is one tough lady! Even with the release of Zero Dark Thirty, and the controversy that ensued, she owned it. She’s not afraid to get uncomfortable.

3. She knows what she wants, and she’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen. According to Kathryn, “I’ve never made a non-independent movie. No matter what scale it’s been, it’s always been independent. So I wanted to retain complete creative control, I wanted final cut, I wanted the opportunity to cast breakout, emerging talent, and as I said, shoot in the Middle East.”

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