Brie Larson's New Role Revisits An Important Piece of Women's History
Over the course of her career, Brie Larson has played many a strong female role: a resilient former captive in Room; a feisty, altruistic photojournalist in Kong: Skull Island; a compassionate group home supervisor in Short Term 12. Now, she'll tackle yet another important part in Victoria Woodhull, in which Larson stars as the first female U.S. presidential candidate. According to Deadline, she will also produce the film, which was acquired by Amazon, while Ben Kopit (The Libertine) will write the script.
The project revisits a timely and potent part of American history. Woodhull, a key figure in the women's suffrage movement, ran for president in 1872 — more than 40 years before the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 gave women the right to vote. In fact, Politico reported that Woodhull couldn’t even vote for herself, though that point is moot, given that she was incarcerated on Election Day, and for a month or so after, on obscenity charges. The outlet writes that Woodhull "never much cared for rules or regulations of a game she considered egregiously rigged against women."
Of course, Woodhull ultimately lost the presidency. According to Politico, she received zero electoral votes (There's no record of how many popular votes she accrued). Still, her campaign helped pave the way for women's rights for decades to come. When another woman, Belva Ann Lockwood, ran for president 12 years later, she scored 4,149 votes in six states, and it's fair to assume it would have been more challenging for names like Geraldine Ferraro and Sarah Palin to enter the race for office had it not been for Woodhull's precedent-shattering candidacy.
Her story is especially striking against the backdrop of the 2016 election, in which Hillary Clinton became the first female nominee of a major U.S. party. She undoubtedly came the closest to finally cracking the glass ceiling, though she, too, lost to a man.
Woodhull serves as a powerful reminder of how long women have been fighting for their fair stake in politics, and just how elusive the the nation’s highest office remains for the female sex. Larson will surely bring that spirit to life on-screen.