If you’re more accustomed to seeing Keira Knightley in a bonnets or corsets than the clothe’s of today, there’s a very good reason.
Speaking to Variety, Knightley revealed that she has selected far more roles in period dramas because of their treatment and depiction of women.
“I don’t really do films set in the modern day because the female characters nearly always get raped,” Knightley explained.
“I always find something distasteful in the way women are portrayed, whereas I’ve always found very inspiring characters offered to me in historical pieces.”
The 32-year-old actress and #MeToo campaigner also called attention to the prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse in all industries.
“I think everyone has battled their fair share of monsters. It’s not just actresses. It’s teachers; it’s lawyers,” she said.
“I’m not talking about rape, but I’m talking about the people who had been grabbed in pubs or their breasts had been fondled by somebody they didn’t know or they’d had someone shove a hand up their skirt.”
Knightley has gained critical and box office acclaim for her iconic roles in Pride & Prejudice, Atonement and Anna Karenina. Her latest role? A legendary French novelist in the historical drama Colette.
“It’s wonderful to play inspiring women and to get their stories and their voices out there,” Knightley told Variety. “The fact that the movie is coming out right now isn’t a surprise. Women’s stories are suddenly viewed as important.”
The interview marks the first of many occasions that Knightley called out the lack of diverse female roles.
In an issue of Violet in 2015, The Imitation Game actress asked of Hollywood: “Where are the female stories? Where are they? Where are the directors, where are the writers? It’s imbalanced.”
“I think the pay is a huge thing, but I’m actually more concerned over the lack of our voices being heard.”