Keira Knightley wishes female filmmakers were given a second chance as easily as male directors.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actress, who is outspoken about sexism and the double standards facing women, wants female directors to be treated the same as their counterparts, who are often given more opportunities to bounce back from a commercial or critical flop.
“You have to give female filmmakers the chance to fail, because men are given that chance and then they come back and make amazing films, but female directors are not. They are expected to be perfect, right from the get-go,” she told PORTER magazine. “You need to have women telling their experiences, (which) don’t all stop at happily ever after.”
Knightley recently worked with Philippa Lowthorpe on comedy-drama Misbehaviour, in which she plays a member of the Women’s Liberation Movement who helps disrupt the 1970 Miss World competition, and is currently filming Silent Night, directed by Camille Griffin.
She has insisted she isn’t deliberately picking projects simply because they are directed by women, but because the stories captured her attention.
“That’s not from me deciding I’m only working with women. That’s simply from thinking, ‘Oh, that’s interesting,’” the 34-year-old said of the scripts.
With Misbehaviour, Knightley felt the screenplay was relevant, despite the film being set in 1970, because it addresses the struggle women, and women of colour, face.
“I read (the script) and thought, this is exactly what we’re still talking about; we’re talking about our space in the world, trying to do it with children, but also the intersectional racism that was part of it,” she explained. “I thought, this is an extraordinary story that doesn’t try to preach. It actually has the conversation.”
Misbehaviour, which also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Jessie Buckley, is in U.K. cinemas now.
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