In the age of #MeToo, actress Keira Knightley says that she does not know anyone who hasn’t been harassed at some point.
Speaking with Harper’s Bazaar UK for the magazine’s July issue, Knightley said it’s simply “depressing” to hear about other women’s stories.
“It was when women started listing all the precautions they take when they walk home to make sure they’re safe, and I thought, ‘I do every single one of them and I don’t even think about it,’” she said. “It’s f***g depressing.”
The interview took place while wandering the streets of North London. During the interview, journalist Lydia Slater notes, a lone male stranger allegedly approached Knightley and shouted at her, “Do you go to this school? You look very young!”
“Thank you,” replied Knightley as she and Slater sought “sanctuary in a nearby garden square” where the man proceeded to follow them. Knightley suggested the incident would be a good example as to why men should be given a curfew.
“I think it’s quite interesting talking about this while being chased around,” said Knightley. “I love that politician who said there ought to be a curfew for men and men were outraged, and you think – but there’s a curfew for women and there always has been.”
Not only did Knightley say that she has experienced harassment, she admitted to not knowing anyone who hasn’t.
“I mean, everybody has. Literally, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been, in some way, whether it’s being flashed at or groped, or some guy saying they’re going to slit your throat, or punching you in the face, or whatever it is, everybody has,” she said.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Knightley appreciated mask-wearing and told Harper’s Bazaar that she will likely find it hard to step back into the spotlight as the world opens up.
“Make-up is an armour,” she said. “But my husband and my elder kid don’t like it at all. My husband says, ‘Oh, you’re her.’ They don’t see it as me – and I don’t either. It’s something other, like a character.” A nice one? “Not particularly. No, she can’t be. She’s got to be quite fierce. It’s an armour, and I think that’s how it has to be.”
Knightley’s statements on harassment are nearly identical to what “Mad Men” star Christina Hendricks told The Guardian last week.
“I don’t know one musician or one model or one actor who has escaped that,” Hendricks told the U.K. paper. “I have had moments — not on Mad Men; on other things — where people have tried to take advantage of me, use my body in a way I wasn’t comfortable with, persuade me or coerce me or professionally shame me: ‘If you took your work seriously, you would do this.’”
“[Hollywood] gets a lot of attention because people know who we are,” she added. “I’m sure there’s a casting couch at the bank down the street, I’m sure the same thing happens in management consultancy, but people don’t know who the management consultants are.”
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