Keira Knightley‘s daughter isn’t even 5 years old yet, but she already knows all about the rules of consent.
In a revealing new cover profile for PORTER magazine, the Misbehaviour actress says that her 4½-year-old, Edie, had a reaction to a Disney animated film that made her mama proud.
“When we watched Sleeping Beauty, she said, ‘It’s not okay that man kissed her without her permission!’ ” recalls Knightley, jokingly groaning as she admits that in terms of fairy-tale movies, her older child has “watched them all.”
“I can’t tell you how pleased I was,” the 34-year-old mother of two (she and husband James Righton also share 6-month-old daughter Delilah) adds of Edie’s response to the kiss near the end of the movie. “If I don’t do anything else, I’ve managed to drum that in!”
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Another big lesson Knightley is undoubtedly passing on to her girls? Not to limit themselves to the societal standards “that you have to feel guilty about doing well” as a woman “if it’s making a man feel uncomfortable.”
“It doesn’t with my husband and it didn’t with my dad. But yet our society is telling us that’s what it should be,” the star says. “A lot of the time, my mum was earning more than my dad and that was never an issue. I mean, sometimes he earned more, sometimes she earned more. I was not raised to think that was anything other than normal.”
When asked about keeping it real concerning the more difficult sides of motherhood as opposed to what is often portrayed on social media, Knightley tells PORTER she more so believes “it’s important to counter a single narrative,” as opposed to moms feeling like they have to hide “the perfect side of [motherhood] because, every so often, you might have the perfect side of it and you should celebrate that.”
“But the rest of it also exists,” the actress says. “The first time [around], I just felt that all I could see was this one narrative and it made me feel totally alone. And then after whispered conversations with other mothers, I realized this is actually about our lives and our experiences not being told fully. That’s where I had a problem with it.”
Knightley discusses some of the themes in her new film Misbehaviour and how they affect her own life, touching on a childcare-focused scene that involved many dads — something that many might not often see in real life.
“It’s not expected that men should look after their children; it’s seen as a bonus,” the Official Secrets actress tells the magazine, rolling her eyes. “Even in the workplace, my husband is never asked about childcare, whereas that would be asked of me: ‘So what are you doing with the kids?’ “
In terms of her career, Knightley believes “you have to give female filmmakers the chance to fail, because men are given that chance and then they come back and make amazing films, but female directors are not. They are expected to be perfect, right from the get-go.”
“You need to have women telling their experiences, [which] don’t all stop at happily ever after,” she adds. “What the f— happens after happily ever after?”
Misbehaviour hits U.K. theaters on Friday.
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