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, Adams 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 Adams 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."
Adams 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."
At the BFI London Film Festival premiere of the film last night, Adams said the theme of unity in the movie seems even more relevant in light of the US election campaign.
She said: "Probably more so than when we started filming.
"We started filming over a year ago and now I feel with everything going on in the world, throughout Europe and the politics that are happening in the States right now, there is so much fear and it's nice to be reminded that hopefully we can come out of that fear together to a bigger solution."
She admitted she had been left "stunned" by the leaked tape of Donald Trump making obscene remarks about groping women.
The Republican presidential candidate has dismissed the recording as "locker room banter" but apologised for the 2005 video in which he brags about making advances on a married female journalist and says he can do anything he likes to women because of his celebrity status.
Walking the red carpet Adams told the Press Association: "I just love my news updates, I'm tied to my Google Alerts.
"It's pretty remarkable. I think we are all stunned."
The film will be released in UK cinemas on November 11.