Actress Keira Knightley, who was just nominated for an Oscar for her supporting role in The Imitation Game, wants to know when Hollywood films will start to feature female geniuses.
The 29-year-old starlet sat down with the Telegraph recently to discuss her new film, which has garnered Oscar nominations in eight different categories, including her very own, for best Supporting Actress.
“You’re asking if I’ve ever been offered a biopic about a female genius?” She asked. “No! What is up with that! Go on, you’re a writer, write one. I would love to play a genius.”
The Imitation Game, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch, is about British mathematician, cryptanalyst, logician, and computer scientist, Alan Turing.
Turing played a prominent role in cracking Nazi Germany’s famous Enigma code, which in turn assisted the Allies in winning the Second World War on the European front. Turing was later criminally prosecuted for his homosexuality.
Knightley further pressed the writer on who he would choose to write a film about. “What about the mathematician who’s just won the — God, what’s the biggest maths prize? Fields Medal. What’s her name?” she asked. “That’s even worse. I can’t remember her name.”
(Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani was the woman Knightley was referring to.)
Although Knightley wasn’t the lead in the film, her character was still an expert cryptanalyst. “Pretty f***ing smart,” she said of her respective character.
The actress said she enjoyed acting in the film because it enlightened her to one of her favorite eras, the Forties, which she loves because the period was much different than today.
“You have this image of a very proper, very uptight society, but the fact is that STDs were going through the roof, and women were having babies outside of marriage and everything,” she explained. “Suddenly you see it in a completely different context.”
Knightley once called herself a workaholic, as she would rarely take time off between films, but now seems to have found more balance in life. She said:
With acting or anything creative, you have to be living a bit outside of just a film set in order to be getting better, or bringing something interesting, or reflecting the world around you.
If the world around you is just a film set, that’s a bit of a bubble.
Watch: The trailer for The Imitation Game