Keira Knightley is furious that no one listened to her about sexual harassment in the movie industry a decade ago.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star, 33, has been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement, the campaign urging women to speak up about the sexism and harassment they face in the movie industry and beyond.
In fact, she says many women were speaking up about the issue earlier, but complaints got little press until sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein’s became headline news in 2017.
“There were many of us saying things like that 10, 15 years ago but it was not being reported,” she tells Britain’s Stylist magazine. “It’s more there was this realisation that we’d been gaslighted (made to think they rather than the perpetrators were in the wrong).
“We were told, ‘It’s fine, we’ve figured it out,’ and then suddenly realising, actually, it’s really not fine. With #MeToo and Time’s Up, there’s a real push from everybody to say, ‘Can we use this to move things forward?'”
Keira had a mental health crisis in her early 20s and says that it now shapes her film choices as she doesn’t want the scrutiny that comes with appearing in huge blockbusters compared to smaller films, like her latest war drama The Aftermath.
“We are all trying to make our life the best we can, and for me it’s not going to be the best it can be if I’m doing massive studio films,” she explains. “The press around them is way too much for me. That’s not the lifestyle I want.”
The British star admits it was difficult opening up about her personal problems but hopes her words will help youngsters come to terms with their own battles.
“If there is a kid out there who feels like they are breaking, who might think it’s helpful to know that that shiny person felt like she was on the floor and in pieces at some point,” she adds.