Female characters in films are often described as clever but then have nothing clever to say or do, according to Hollywood star Amy Adams.
The five-time Oscar nominee said it is unusual for female characters to show their intelligence on screen.
In her new film Arrival, Amy plays a professor of linguistics enlisted by the US government to decipher the language of extraterrestrials who have made contact and said: "Sometimes females are written that they are smart in the description but they don't have anything smart to say or do so the fact she gets to be smart and not just act smart is awesome."
The Avengers star Jeremy Renner, who plays opposite Amy as a scientist who joins her on a mission to determine the purpose of the alien visit, added: "I mainly did this movie because of my relationship with Amy and this is a great role for her.
"What is lacking in Hollywood is roles like that for actresses of this calibre. They play victims a lot of the times, women who are victimised in some way, but this was a fantastic script and shows a leading woman who is smart.
"She is a superhero, she saves the world and that is a fantastic thing.
"Women are badass, my mother and my sisters are what this character is, this emotional intelligence, this mother earth.
"She's compassionate and tolerant. What separates men from women is that compassion gene."
Amy told a press conference in London that one of the most refreshing things about the role was forgetting her physical appearance.
She said: "This is so base but it was literally just being OK rolling out of bed in the morning.
"It was really freeing. I have played roles where I have lost my vanity before but this one felt different because she was so intelligent. This was a role without vanity and that was hugely freeing.
"A lot of my characters have that innate vanity that we all have as human beings but she really didn't and that was very refreshing."
The film will be released in UK cinemas on November 11.