Cate Blanchett has said that she should be referred to as an actor rather than an actress.
The Australian screen star made the comments in reference to the Berlin Film Festival's decision to switch to gender neutral awards in 2021.
Speaking at the Venice Film Festival, where she is serving as the head of the jury panel, she said: “I have always referred to myself as an actor.
“I am of the generation where the word actress was used almost always in a pejorative sense. So I claim the other space.”
According to the AFP, she then asked Italian journalists present if there was a female version of the word 'maestro', to which she was told there wasn't.
Blanchett has played male characters in the past.
In the 2015 art film Manifesto, she played a homeless man for director Julian Rosefeldt, and then in Todd Haynes' 2007 movie I'm Not There, she played the musician Bob Dylan.
At the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, then-jury president Blanchett led a silent red carpet protest with 82 other women, to highlight the lack of female directors being represented at the event.
She was joined by the likes of Kristen Stewart, Lea Seydoux, Ava DuVernay, Jane Fonda and Salma Hayek.
Reading a collective statement, she said: “Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of our industry says otherwise. As women, we all face our own unique challenges, but we stand together on these stairs today as a symbol of our determination and commitment to progress.
“We stand together on these steps today as a symbol of our determination and progress. The stairs of our industry must be accessible to all. Let’s climb.”