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Keira Knightley: Here's What 'Makes Me Feel Sick'

The 'Colette' star reveals her feelings about gender
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2018 10:35 AM CST
Actress Keira Knightley poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'The Nutcracker and the Four Realms' in London Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018.   (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Keira Knightley is infusing her Colette promo interviews with a healthy dose of gender politics and observations—not exactly the usual celeb patter, but it jibes with the film's story. Knightley wants to explore "the masculine side of the female, stuck in the dresses and makeup," she tells the Guardian. "Almost every character I’ve played has tried to break out of that image of femininity." Indeed, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette was a French author whose first four novels were published under the name of her husband, who locked her in her room until she produced pages. "That's why I like period films, because it's such an overt cage you put the woman in." Among her other quotables:

  • Girls into men: Knightley recalls believing "that girls grew into men, and that's what I was going to be. Maybe it was that the girls were the most powerful in the playground. They were in charge and, obviously, the men were in charge outside. So clearly that’s where I was going. Only, of course it wasn't."
  • Al Pacino: At age 11, she was "obsessed by The Godfather. I wanted to be Al Pacino and that's where I was heading. The great parts are the guys' parts. You don't want to be the pretty girl in the corner or the mum being lovable and supportive. Of course, when you grow up you are, but you still want to have the adventures."
  • Cinderella: After appearing on the Ellen Show and saying she wouldn't let her daughter watch Cinderella due to its portrayal of women: "I thought I was just being perky in an interview," says the 33-year-old. "My God, people feel really strongly. Don't f--k with Cinderella. Her fans will end you."
  • Feeling sick: "Before motherhood, you're sexy," but it's "terrifying" to talk about the realities of giving birth: "There's no sex there, so what we do is go into the virgin-mother retrofit, that's nice and safe. The problem with those two images is I think very few women actually identify with them. Women are meant to play the flirt or the mother in order to get their voice heard. I can't. It makes me feel sick."
  • Harvey Weinstein: "I absolutely knew he was a womaniser, because you could see it. But I thought that was consensual, and I'd never heard he’d raped anybody. ... It wasn't obvious he was doing what he was doing with the bathrobe and the massage and the pot plant. The pot plant!"
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