If there’s one actress you need on your radar right now it’s Romola Garai. As well as previous roles in Atonement, Crimson Petal And The White and The Hour, the actress stars in the upcoming movie, Suffragette alongside Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan. In honour of this, we’ve compiled a list of why she’s one of our favourite women in film right now…
She’s a die-hard feminist: She’s a self-confessed “bra-burning feminist” flying the flag for all those unspoken female voices. In particular, she says actresses are in a vulnerable position in the industry because they remain in the minority. She won our hearts when she referred to herself as a ‘ticking grenade of gender anger’ proving that she’s unafraid to speak out against the prevalent gender inequality in Hollywood and, indeed, society in general.
She’s outspoken: As well as pregnancy and all the things that come with it, there’s one issue that Romola holds close to heart: masturbation. In the Village Bike in 2011, she played a sexually frustrated pregnant woman who masturbates on stage, while she told The Evening Standard: “Obviously women masturbate all the time. It’s important that women like Caitlin Moran are talking about it, saying ‘Yeah, I whacked off this morning and I don’t f**king care if you like it or not’.”
We also can’t go without mentioning her BAFTA appearance. When presenting back in 2013, Garai said: “After the recent birth of my child, I had the misfortune of having 23 stitches in my vagina,” before going into more gory details on the horrors of childbirth. Shortly after, she added: “It felt good to see everybody in the audience saying ‘Did she just say vagina?’”
She’s an amazing actress: It is the 33-year-old English actress’ rural beauty teamed with her bold calls for action that have seen her cast for many period dramas including Atonement, Amazing Grace, Glorious 39 and BBC productions Emma and The Hour. And within those, Romola has proved her worth as an actress many times over.
Her way with words: Speaking about men feeling threatened by headstrong women like herself, or more specifically male directors that she’s worked with, Romola said: “I’ve had experiences with some men professionally when I can just sense their cocks crawl up inside their bodies.” She’s certainly a force to be reckoned with.
She champions all shapes and sizes: Weight is an issue that all women have struggled with at one point or another, but what Romola has to say is something we can all take on board. She told the Evening Standard: “For me, the weight thing is a metaphor for control: making women feel weak because they’re so insecure, so they won’t disagree with the director or studio. Women feel afraid that they’re going to lose their careers, afraid of being fat or ageing.” She then added: “I just want to be employed by people who love me as I am.” Hear, hear.
She fights for a mother’s rights: Being a mother comes hand in hand with many a struggle. There’s the balance between childcare, house chores and work and then the endless battle for body confidence post childbirth. Of housework, Romola made a point we can all relate to: “The lack of emphasis on men’s involvement in child rearing is bemusing to me. How many press interviews have you read that say you’ve recently become a father, has it negatively affected your career?” As for body confidence, she makes her point loud and clear: “Women have stretch marks and a tummy after birth, it’s normal.”
Suffragette will hit the big screens on October 12th. See you there!