Keira Knightley: Feminism Is Not A “Dirty Word,” “Hollywood Has Long Way To Go”
Keira Knightley talks feminism, Hollywood, and social media in the February issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK. As we head into 2014, the actress believes society is more willing to openly address attitudes towards women. “I think it’s great that the discussions are finally being allowed to be had [about feminism], as opposed to anybody mentioning feminism and everybody going, ‘Oh, f*cking shut up,’” she tells the magazine.
Knightley continues, “Somehow, [feminism] became a dirty word. I thought it was really weird for a long time, and I think it’s great that we’re coming out of that. That said, the movie star points out that her industry is still male-dominated, and talks about “walking into a room, and talking about why my character is saying this, but I’ll be talking about it to a room of five guys.”
“I’ve lost most of the arguments,” she confesses. Knightley goes on, “Hollywood has a really long way to go. I don’t think that anybody can deny that, really, and I think as much as you are getting more women playing lead roles… they’re still pretty few and far between.” She also laments that intense film shoots make it all the more harder to have a family. “I go to work at 5:30 in the morning; I wouldn’t get back probably until nine o’clock at night,” she says, noting, “Most of the guys that I talk to — and I’ve spoken to a lot of guys about it — they say [whispers], ‘My wife does everything.’
“You think, ‘Why wasn’t I thinking about this five years ago?’ [I was] worrying about a boyfriend and sh*t…,” admits Knightley. She labels her next movie, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, a “piece of popcorn,” but credits director Kenneth Branagh for teaching her why it’s okay to make such films. “He was like, ‘Don’t feel guilty… it’s going to be a Hollywood action film, that’s what it’s going to be, and that’s fine,'” she recalls. “It was quite liberating hearing him say that.” Another recent lesson: there is a such thing as wedded bliss, proves Knightley after her recent wedding to James Righton. She says, “These words that you think beforehand, ‘That’s the reason I’ll never do it’ … those words that you see as completely negative, and you suddenly see them as being incredibly positive, and that’s actually quite liberating and quite nice.”
But Knightley doesn’t plan on sharing much more of her personal life, especially on Twitter, which she quit after using for just 12 hours under a pseudonym. “It made me feel a little bit like being in a school playground and not being popular and standing on the sidelines kind of going, ‘Argh,” she tells the magazine. “I like being private. I haven’t asked a lot of the actresses who I really admire, ‘How do you do it?’ because I don’t want to know,” says Knightley. She adds, “Maybe I’m childish in that way; I just don’t want to know about your life.”
Check out Knightley’s alternate Harper’s cover below!
(Harper’s Bazaar UK)