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Keira Knightley: I make conscious decisions to work with female directors

Her latest film is directed by Philippa Lowthorpe.

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Keira Knightley (David Parry/PA)

Keira Knightley (David Parry/PA)

Keira Knightley (David Parry/PA)

Keira Knightley says she has made the conscious decision to work with a string of female directors and added the industry is reckoning with the lack of opportunities women have been given.

The actress’s next film Misbehaviour is directed by Philippa Lowthorpe, and tells the story of a group of real-life feminist activists who hatched a plan to stage a protest at the Miss World contest in London in 1970s.

Knightly, 34, who has also worked with directors including Lynn Shelton, Gurinder Chadha and Lorene Scafaria, told the PA news agency: “It has always been a conscious thing but it’s only ever been because I’ve really liked the projects they’ve been making.

“I haven’t gone like ‘Ooh there is a project by a guy but I’m not going to do it because it’s a man.’

“It’s been an added bonus that it’s been a woman and I have always tried to seek out female filmmakers whose work I love and I want to work with, so I feel very lucky that I’ve worked with the women that I have.

“I think it’s an interesting time right now. I can’t talk for the whole industry but I can say that ‘okay the last film that I did, which was this one, was directed by a woman, Phillipa. The next one that I’m doing is directed by a woman and I’m in negotiations for another by a woman.

“And that’s not me going ‘I will only work with female directors’, I think it’s as an industry it feels very much like everybody is trying to go ‘Wait a minute, we haven’t given people the opportunities that other people have been given and that needs to be addressed.’

The film is the latest in a string of politically and socially conscious roles for Knightley and she said: “It has been very conscious. I think I’ve always just tried to what has interested me at that particular moment.

“I don’t produce the work, I just respond to the scripts that I get sent and it so happened that over the last couple of years I’ve been sent more political and politically aware scripts and I’ve been really interested to have those conversations within them.

“I’m a member of society, having the opportunity to really think about these arguments and really explore them is one of the things I love about my job the most.”

Misbehaviour is released in UK cinemas on March 13.

PA