Vanessa Kirby says “The Crown” gender pay gap issue has made her conscious about how she needs to plan her career, and she understands the role she wants to play in the era of #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. The actress says there is a need to represent women — who couldn’t find a spot in the narrative scripted by the male dominant system.
She is doing her bit by deciding that she will not take up roles which don’t have their “own narrative”.
“I think the responsibility is to do, in whatever genre or movie whether it is independent or franchise, it is really important now than ever to represent women onscreen that weren’t seen through the male lens or male writing or in the dominant male system,” Kirby told IANS when asked about the responsibilities that come with the widely applauded movements for women empowerment.
“So it is important to make sure that women are as complicated as men, they have as much as a journey like men. Also to make sure that they are not just fantasy figures. I would like to see women onscreen that I identify as my friend or family and people that I know,” she added.
Earlier this year, the news of actor Matt Smith getting paid more for his role as Prince Philip than his co-star Claire Foy — who played Queen Elizabeth — created quite an uproar, with the makers of the Netflix drama drawing criticism for the pay disparity.
So did the whole pay gap stir made her more conscious?
“Yes,” said the former “The Crown” actress.
“‘The Crown’ was such a special time of my life. It was really life changing in the sense that we all knew Elizabeth is the protagonist of the story and men are in relation to her…That is also empowering,” added the actress, who has earned her first ever Emmy nomination this year for her portrayal of Princess Margaret in the show.
She has made a vow to herself.
“I will only play women that have their own narrative in a sense that they aren’t there just for the sake of it.”
Kirby’s tryst with showbiz started with theatre. She then made her TV debut in 2011 with BBC’s “The Hour”, following up her act with the role of Estrella in the BBC adaptation of “Great Expectations”.
She has also starred in “Charlie Countryman”, “About Time”, “Everest”, “Kill Command” and “Me Before You”.
At the moment, she is getting all the attention for her role in “Mission: Impossible Fallout”. She will be seen as White Widow, daughter of an arms dealer in the sixth part of the franchise, which features Hollywood icon Tom Cruise as the main lead, Ethan Hunt.
“Mission: Impossible Fallout” — a Paramount Pictures movie — will be distributed in India by Viacom18 Motion Pictures. It is set to release in India on Friday in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
Kirby appreciates the franchise for being gender neutral.
“When you watch all of the films together, they all are so different. Women and men have their own unique energy. It was built on that and Christopher McQuarrie (the director) was very clear about that.”
She feels “women are not sexualised” in the films.
“Rebecca Ferguson’s character in the last movie was so well-established and it was gender neutral. She was doing all these stunts, and was not only the love interest.
“I think that is so great about them…Women have their own journeys.”