Nicole Kidman, one of the world's most famous and arguably best actresses, has taken aim at sexism in Hollywood saying the industry does not represent an "even playing field" for women. The Oscar-winning Australian actress was speaking at the Women in Film Crystal and Lucy Awards in Los Angeles.

Nicole KidmanNicole Kidman was speaking at the Women in Film awards

"Obviously we need to create more opportunities; it's not an even playing field," said Kidman, who won the Crystal award for excellence in film at the ceremony. "We're all working and banding together and trying to change that and that's what's needed. We also need to put cameras in little girls' hands and get them to tell stories and increase their confidence so that they can feel powerful."

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Earlier in the evening, Ava DuVernay, who directed the Martin Luther King biopic, said talented women were often overlooked by the film industry.

"Hollywood is like the boyfriend who doesn't call you as often, that's kind of like what Hollywood is to women film-makers," said DuVernay, "[There is] a little a bit of neglect in terms of recognising the imagination and talent women film-makers have ... of older actresses who might be past the window of when the industry says they're valuable. There's so much of that going on so it's certainly something we all have to work to correct."

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The Avatar actress Zoe Saldana has recalled being written off by some Hollywood producers after falling pregnant last year.

"Let me tell you something: it will never be the right time for anybody in your life that you get pregnant," she told USA Today at the premiere of Infinitely Polar Bear. "The productions I was slated to work on sort of had a panic. I heard through the grapevine there was even a conversation of me being written off of one of the projects."

Kidman will next be seen in Genius, a chronicling of Max Perkins's time as the book editor at Scribner, where he oversaw works by Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.