Keira Knightley is no shrinking violet when it comes to
sharing her views on feminism in the film industry. The talented actress is
looking luminous on the cover of Violet
magazine, but inside she's all business. In an interview with yet another
feminist media figure, Amanda de Cadenet, Knightley takes society to task for
the lack of female writers and directors — a topic she's tackled before with aplomb.
"Where are the female stories? Where are they? Where
are the directors, where are the writers?" she asked rhetorically. "It's
imbalanced, so given that we are half the cinema-going public, we are half the
people [who] watch drama or watch anything else, where is that? So yes, I think
the pay is a huge thing, but I'm actually more concerned over the lack of our
voices being heard."
Knightley has put her money where her mouth is as far as
working with female directors; she's worked with Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), Lorene Scafaria (Seeking a Friend For the End of the World),
and indie stalwart Lynn Shelton (Laggies).
She's also portrayed plenty of legendary ladies from history and literature,
such as psychoanalyst Sabina Spielrein (A
Dangerous Method), Anna Karenina, the rebellious Duchess of Devonshire (The
Duchess), Elizabeth Bennet (Pride
& Prejudice), and Joan Clarke (The Imitation Game).
The film industry isn't feminism's top priority, as
Knightley acknowledges. "I don't know what happened through the '80s,'90s,
and '00s that took feminism off the table, that made it something that women
weren't supposed to identify with and were supposed to be ashamed of. Feminism
is about the fight for equality between the sexes, with equal respect, equal pay, and equal opportunity. At the moment we are still a long way off that," she said.