Danny Boyle has said women don't get good enough parts in film - even when it seems they're playing a leading role.
The director's latest film, crime caper Trance, stars Rosario Dawson as hypnotherapist Elizabeth.
The Slumdog Millionaire filmmaker was dating Rosario after they met on the film, but the couple are rumoured to have now split.
"Elizabeth's obviously a classic femme fatale, using her allure, her beauty to manipulate the men but I didn't want the icy blonde Hitchcock kind of thing," Danny said.
He believes Rosario has never been fully exploited before, adding. "It's a big problem for a lot of those actresses.
"They play the apparent lead in a film but when you look at the part it's not that great, they're like a figurehead.
"It's nice to give them a role that puts them in the engine room of the film. I've been guilty of not doing that."
:: Trance is in cinemas now.