Keira Knightley: society thinks looks are ‘more important than what you have to say’

“Misbehaviour” star Keira Knightley says the film felt relevant when she first read the script, but even more timely in 2020. She also says red carpet premieres are no different than beauty pageants. (Oct. 2)

Video Transcript

- Last year, 100 million people tuned in live to Miss World, more viewers than for the moon landings or the World Cup Final.

- Beautiful, darling.

- Mum, don't.

- You and your sisters used to love playing Miss World.

- We also liked to eat our own snot.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY: So we went into lockdown the-- the week that this film came out, so it was-- my face was stuck on [INAUDIBLE] at the bus stops for, like, four months through lockdown. Nobody saw the film, but, like, it was just stuck-- the poster was stuck in this weird kind of apocalyptic vibe. So that was weird. When we first made it, which is almost two years ago now, it-- it felt pretty timely then because I remember reading the script.

And so I knew nothing about this event, but I thought it was really interesting because it-- the themes of it were very definitely that discussion of feminism and the intersection with racism, and that felt like it was something that we were all very much discussing, you know. And then obviously, this year's happened.

And if something could possibly feel more timely, it manages to feel more timely, even though it was something that was set in 1970. You know, so I-- I think it's really nice. I think part of culture is obviously-- the whole point of it is to entertain, but it's equally to be part of a discussion, you know. And-- and I think what I really liked about the script for this film is that it sort of did both.

- But making us compete with each other over the way we look, doesn't that make the world narrower for all of us in the end?

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY: Well, I mean, I think we have it within my industry. I mean, what is a red carpet if not a pageant? You know, I mean, you walk down a red carpet, you're in a very pretty dress, and people give you marks out of 10, you know. So, I mean, I-- I think they're still very much within our culture. Maybe they're given different names.

For a woman, we're all very aware that there is-- we haven't reached equality of pay. Our society still thinks that the way that you look is more important than what you have to say. So I think in a funny way, every single woman knows that she's still in some kind of beauty pageant, and I think that's what massively people should be fighting against.