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Keira Knightley Says Streaming Services Are Helping Create More Compelling Roles for Women in Film — Sundance 2018

The "Colette" star hit the IndieWire Studio at Sundance to talk about her historical drama and why modern roles are finally catching up to her interests.

There’s no big secret as to why Keira Knightley keeps gravitating towards historical and period-set movies: they just happen to offer her the kind of roles she’s eager to sink her teeth into. Recently, the actress told Variety, “I don’t really do films set in the modern day because the female characters nearly always get raped. I always find something distasteful in the way women are portrayed.” For her, the “very inspiring” characters keep showing up in movies set decades, even centuries ago.

Such is the case with Wash Westmoreland’s “Colette,” which just debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, starring Knightley in the eponymous role of the trailblazing French author. But while “Colette” itself includes plenty of “modern” touches and ideas, Knightley is also enthused by what she sees as an uptick in better, beefier roles for women in modern-set movies.

At the IndieWire Sundance Studio presented by Dropbox, the “Colette” star — alongside director and co-screenwriter Westmoreland and actor Dominic West — opened up about how the tide might finally be turning, and she sees the sea change coming care of one major influence: streaming services.

“I am seeing more interesting roles for women, and I think it’s the advent of streaming services,” she said. “We’ve never been frightened of putting women in lead roles in television, it’s been film where there’s such a huge discrepancy. Now that everybody is watching the Amazons and the Netflixes and they’re binge-watching these kind of series, a lot of them are headed by really wonderful actresses, playing really complex, interesting parts.”

She added, “With film, I think for too long, women have been silent, our point of view has been silent, the way that view the world, our stories have gone untold, and I think that’s put us in a position of danger.”

Check out Knightley talking about how streaming services are changing the kind of roles being offered to actresses (and why she’s so excited about that):

“Colette” premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Bleecker Street and 30West will distribute it.

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