Keira Knightley On Fighting For Gender Pay Equity: ‘It Felt Like Something You Couldn’t Question’

Keira Knightley is making sure she’s paid what she’s worth.

The “Colette” star is one of the women to receive a special cover for Elle‘s November “Women in Hollywood” issue, on newsstands Oct. 23, and in an interview with the magazine she opened up about demanding pay equity.

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Photo: David Bailey
Photo: David Bailey

Knightley explained that until fairly recently she hadn’t even thought about the difference in pay between her and her male co-stars.

“It didn’t even occur to me,” she said. “It felt like something you couldn’t question. But I do ask now, and I can safely say that in my last two films, I have not made less than the men I’ve been working with.”

Photo: David Bailey
Photo: David Bailey

It’s not just about equality for her, though. Knightley talked about the unfair ways female directors are often treated compared to their male counterparts.

“Of course men can direct women brilliantly, but I think that often women storytellers are subtler than men,” she said. “And I think that often their work gets devalued because of the subtlety, and that’s ridiculous.”

RELATED: Keira Knightley Opens Up About Having A Mental Breakdown At 22

Photo: David Bailey
Photo: David Bailey

The 33-year-old also opened up about facing those gendered double standards as a woman who became famous at a very young age.

“The double standards that women face are so extreme, particularly at that age. Men are meant to be getting drunk and falling out of clubs. Then [people] go, ‘Yeah, you’re cool!’ But if I’d been seen as a party girl, it could’ve been the end of my career,” she said. “We also live in a society that gives unbelievably difficult messages to young women. You’re meant to be thin, but not that thin. You’re supposed to go out and have sex, then people say, ‘No, you’re a slut.’ You’re always too much of something.”



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