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Keira Knightley: I Don’t Know Any Woman Who Hasn’t Been Harassed, Groped, Flashed, or More

"It's fucking depressing," Knightley says about taking safety precautions against men like it's second nature.

Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley

Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA

In a new profile for Harper’s Bazaar magazine, Keira Knightley wonders why it took her so long to call out misogyny in and out of Hollywood. Her answer? Misogyny and harassment is so institutionalized that sometimes you don’t even think about it. As the Oscar-nominated actress said, “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. It’s fucking depressing.”

Harper’s Bazaar reports that during the interview with Knightley a “lone male stranger” approached the actress and the interviewer and shouted at Knightley, asking if she went to the school in the nearby area. The two “hastily departed to find sanctuary in a nearby garden square,” but the man followed them “a few minutes later.”

“I think it’s quite interesting talking about this while being chased around,” Knightley said about the situation. “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.”

When asked if she has experienced harassment herself, Knightley responded, “Yes! 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.”

Knightley most recently starred in “Misbehaviour,” and her upcoming comedy “Silent Night” is expected to release later this year after being delayed because of the pandemic. At the start of last year, the actress made headlines for saying she would no longer film sex scenes for male directors. Knightley cited the male gaze as being an issue.

“I don’t have an absolute ban [on filming nude scenes], but I kind of do with men,” Knightley said. “It’s partly vanity and also it’s the male gaze. Saying that, there’s times where I go, ‘Yeah, I completely see where this sex would be really good in this film and you basically just need somebody to look hot,’ so therefore you can use somebody else. Because I’m too vain, and the body has had two children now, and I’d just rather not stand in front of a group of men naked.”

Head over to the Harper’s Bazaar website to read Knightley’s latest profile in its entirety.

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