Tom Hanks has starred in dozens of quality roles over the past 25 years and as a producer, he's working to give women the same opportunity to star in equally great roles. His most recent production, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2," stars Nia Vardalos, who also wrote the movie, and is co-produced by his wife, Rita Wilson.
The Hollywood couple also produced the first "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," written by Vardalos, in 2002. Wilson called it "demoralizing" that less than a third of all speaking characters in the top 100 grossing movies of 2014 were women.
"So, I think it's empowering to have women in such major roles and also women who aren't just teenagers," the 59-year-old actress said.
Her husband also sees no reason for the lack of quality female roles.
"It's an economic rule that is broken over and over and over again and it still seems as though nobody pays attention to it," Hanks said. "They write it off as a fluke, as an odd thing."
It's obviously no fluke. Top movies led by women in the last 5 years include "The Hunger Games" and "Twilight" franchises (Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart), Disney's "Frozen" and "Maleficent," as well as Sandra Bullock's "Gravity," Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" and "Bridesmaids," which spurred the conversation of having more female-centric films.
"Women are the holders of all the disposable income and yet nobody is marketing to us or giving us that power in terms of financing movies," said Wilson, who also co-produced the female-led "Mamma Mia" with Hanks in 2008. "I think that there's a whole audience being ignored."
The power couple aren't advocating for more female roles just to have more women on screen. They want those actresses to be given significant action in the parts they earn.
"They've got to be good movies, at the same time," Hanks said. "If you leave it up to the bean counter by and large and say, 'look, just slap some women in a movie, it doesn't matter if it's good or not, get it out there,' then when it doesn't do well, they'll say, 'see?!'
He continued, "The rule that says there's only so much room for women in movies is untrue, but I think everybody forgets that."