Dame Helen Mirren has said the Time’s Up movement for gender equality feels like “a revolution”.
The actress, who recently attended the Golden Globes dressed in black in solidarity with victims of sexual harassment, said she now hopes the conversation spreads to other countries.
She told the Press Association: “I think the revolution has been coming, very slowly, creaking along, little bit by little bit, incrementally.
“Just only, I would say, eight years ago one started seeing women behind the camera – and I don’t mean as directors, but also as cameramen and sound people.
“When I started off on film, I mean literally 99% of people on the set were male.
“And I could never quite communicate to my male friends what it’s like, every day of your career, of your working life, to walk into an environment that is 99% male.
“I said, ‘imagine, every day for year after year you’re dealing with an environment that is 99% female’ and they went ‘oh yeah, I suppose that’s true’. It just never dawned on them.
“So it’s great to see that finally, finally creaking open and changing.
“And I think that what happened in Hollywood and now has spread to all kinds of professions is a seismic shift in the culture and it’s fantastic.”
Dame Helen said she sees the Oscars and the Baftas as “a natural platform” for the conversation about gender equality.
She added: “The whole world is looking. I think the other thing that is good is the world does look at Hollywood, you know, India, China, Indonesia.
“So for the conversation to start in a very high profile place like Hollywood, I hope then brings a conversation into other communities, other cultures, other areas, where it’s needed probably more than it is in Hollywood.”
Dame Helen will next be seen in ghost film Winchester, about eccentric firearm heiress Sarah Winchester, who believes she is haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester repeating rifle.
However, the Oscar winner said she does not handle the genre too well.
She said: “I’m a bit too scared, honestly, to go and see ghost stories. I like a funny ghost story, you know Ghostbusters or that sort of thing, but serious ghost movies I do get a little hypertension and I hyperventilate.
“Horror films I cannot deal with at all. But a really well-made ghost story is a wonderful thing.
“Our story absolutely comes out of absolute truth of a woman called Sarah Winchester, who did build a house. It’s known as the Winchester (Mystery) House, it exists, you can visit it in San Jose in California.
“Half of it has gone because it fell down in the big San Francisco earthquake, but a lot of it is still there and it’s extraordinary. Absolutely extraordinary.”
Winchester is released in the UK on February 2.