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Ashley Judd of Lazareth Star Challenges Conventional Wisdom: Female Characters Can Thrive Without Being Likable

Ashley Judd of Lazareth Star Challenges Conventional Wisdom: Female Characters Can Thrive Without Being Likable
Lazareth Star Ashley Judd

In Alec Tibaldi’s new thriller, *Lazareth*, Ashley Judd plays Lee, a character whose initial unlikability may alienate some fans. The film is set in a post-pandemic world where Lee strives to protect her two orphaned nieces, Imogen (Katie Douglas) and Maeve (Sarah Pidgeon). Judd, however, is unconcerned with her character’s likability, stating in an interview with, “Anybody who still says that all female characters have to be likable needs to be shamed and scorned.”

This perspective can be debated. For instance, Meryl Streep’s character Miranda Priestly in *The Devil Wears Prada* is not inherently likable but remains impactful and memorable. Conversely, Rey Skywalker (Daisy Ridley) from the *Star Wars* series is designed to be sympathetic and likable from the start. Judd’s portrayal of Lee leans more towards the former, emphasizing a severe and stern arc, which she is comfortable with.


In *Lazareth*, Judd’s character adopts her nieces and raises them in isolation during a deadly pandemic, convincing them that avoiding the outside world is essential for survival. This control begins to reveal when the girls find an injured man in the woods, leading to a crisis of faith in Lee’s guidance.

Critics have given *Lazareth* a lukewarm reception, with a low 24% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although the audience score is notably higher at 67%. *MovieWeb* describes the film as a “nuanced apocalypse” that generally succeeds in its narrative. The film’s premise revolves around the girls’ upbringing in a remote cabin and their indoctrination by Lee to fear the outside world. The discovery of the injured man challenges their perception and trust in Lee.

The film is available for rent or purchase on various VOD platforms including YouTube, Fandango at Home, Google Play Movies & TV, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime Video. For those interested in further insights from Judd, *MovieWeb* offers an exclusive interview discussing her role and the film’s thematic elements.

Rollie D. Eldred
Written By

Rollie is a film aficionado from LA, USA. He loves exploring international cinema and writing insightful reviews. He also looks like Chuck Norris, he gets that a lot. Get in touch with him at [email protected].

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