The actress and director, who won an Oscar playing a rape survivor in the 1988 film The Accused, says male writers often turn to it when unable to create fully formed female characters.

"One of my pet peeves as an actor was always whenever a male writer was searching for motivation for a woman they would just always go to rape," she tells reporters at an event promoting women in film at the Cannes Film Festival.

"It was like, I wonder why she's in tears? Oh, she was raped. I wonder why she's having trouble with her mom? Well it was ridiculous, it was every single movie that I saw. When you really got to the overriding motivation of that women, by the end you'd always found out it was rape."

The 53-year-old star, who was in the French city to promote her new directorial effort Money Monster, adds, "For some reason, men saw it as this incredibly dramatic thing. 'That's easy, I can just pluck it out of the sky and apply it to her'.

"They were uninterested in any kind of complex merging with a female character, they were unable to put themselves in her body."

Jodie did not name any examples or culprits, but recent films that imply or state female characters are motivated by sexual abuse include Mad Max: Fury Road and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

The actress herself won universal acclaim playing Sarah Tobias, a woman who fights for justice after being gang raped in a bar in The Accused.

However despite her criticism of male writers' depiction of rape, she does not believe bosses in the film industry are deliberately sexist.

"I don't think it's some big plot that men have tried to put women down in the film business," she continues. "It's a pretty progressive world, the film industry. People are open to change and want to be better, but they are stuck with some of the same traditional models and figuring out how to get around that."

Jodie began her Hollywood career as a child actress in the 1970s. Her latest movie, Money Monster, starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney has earned impressive early reviews at Cannes.

The financial thriller, which features George as the host of a financial TV show who is held hostage by a viewer, opens in the U.S. on Friday (13May16) and in the U.K. on 27 May (16).