Kristin Scott Thomas: I assumed feminism was sorted by my parents’ generation

Kristin Scott Thomas in the press room at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
Kristin Scott Thomas in the press room at the 73rd British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

Dame Kristin Scott Thomas said she “never really considered myself a feminist” before she was made honorary president of the Women’s Economic Forum and was not aware of the unconscious bias women can face.

The Four Weddings And A Funeral star, 59, who will soon be seen in the upcoming film Military Wives, was appointed to the role in October 2019.

She told Town & Country magazine: “I was very surprised to be approached because I’m not particularly famous for my activism and I’d never really considered myself a feminist.

(Richard Phibbs/Town & Country)

“I really did assume that things had been dealt with by my parents’ generation – votes, bank accounts, equal pay – and having been brought up in a very female world, I wasn’t aware of quite how deep these things run and the unconscious bias.

“But then I started to read what they sent me and realised, ‘oh, so that’s why I shout at the radio when I’m in the car! That’s why I get cross!’ Because I am a secret feminist.

“I’m not just imagining it or being paranoid, this is actually happening.”

(Richard Phibbs/Town & Country)

Dame Kristin also reflected on a time a director instructed her to be more “appealing”, saying: “I was so cross! That really rubbed me up the wrong way. It kicked something off in me.

“Why the hell should I be appealing? Why should I be pretty, and sweet, and kind, and nice, and have everybody love me? Why? I’m incredibly grumpy about lots and lots of things.”

She said she was excited to work with a creative who was articulating issues that affect women when she made a cameo on Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s series Fleabag, giving a lengthy monologue about menopause.

(Town & Country)

She said: “I knew this was something that a lot of women were just longing to get out there, because I was too.

“What’s so clever about Phoebe is she articulates these really buried feelings – she expresses what we’ve all been thinking about for ages.”

The spring issue of Town & Country is on sale from February 20.

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