Keira Knightley admits that her daughter has seen all of the Disney princess movies

Vanity Fair Oscar Party

Keira Knightly covered a recent issue of Porter, net-a-porter’s in-house online magazine. She’s promoting Misbehaviour, the film based on the true story of the 1970 Miss World pageant, and how white feminists disrupted it. The film and story has more nuance than “white feminists rescued poor downtrodden beauty queens” though, and I worried that this promotional tour would be a little bit tone-deaf. I shouldn’t have worried though, Keira knows what’s up. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

Earning more money than her husband: “A lot of the time, my mum was earning more than my dad and that was never an issue. I mean, sometimes he earned more, sometimes she earned more. I was not raised to think that was anything other than normal.” She found it a shock, then, “coming into the world where there are actually articles saying how much [my partner] earned and how much I earned, because it’s newsworthy that a woman could possibly earn more. That’s what our national newspapers are telling girls – that you have to feel guilty about doing well if it’s making a man feel uncomfortable, which it doesn’t with my husband and it didn’t with my dad. But yet our society is telling us that’s what it should be.”

Her essay about what childbirth is really like: “I think it’s important to counter a single narrative. I don’t think you shouldn’t present the perfect side of [motherhood] because, every so often, you might have the perfect side of it and you should celebrate that. But the rest of it also exists. The first time round, I just felt that all I could see was this one narrative and it made me feel totally alone. And then after whispered conversations with other mothers, I realized this is actually about our lives and our experiences not being told fully. That’s where I had a problem with it.”

The story of Misbehaviour: “I read [the script] and thought, this is exactly what we’re still talking about; we’re talking about our space in the world, trying to do it with children, but also the intersectional racism that was part of it. I thought, this is an extraordinary story that doesn’t try to preach. It actually has the conversation.”

Men who care for their children: “It’s not expected that men should look after their children; it’s seen as a bonus. Even in the workplace, my husband is never asked about childcare, whereas that would be asked of me: ‘So what are you doing with the kids?’”

After she previously said her daughter wouldn’t see Disney-princess movies: “She’s watched them all now. When we watched Sleeping Beauty, she said, ‘It’s not OK that man kissed her without her permission!’ I can’t tell you how pleased I was. If I don’t do anything else, I’ve managed to drum that in!”

[From Porter]

I remember those articles about how she made more money than her husband, and how he moved into her place and all of that. The British papers were always getting into Keira’s financial business back then. And yes, even now, I have to stop myself from going through that train of thought, that “oh, it must be so emasculating for him that his wife makes more money.” The issue is that I think some men – not all, maybe not even most – but some men do find it emasculating. That seems to be changing though. And LOL on her older daughter watching all of the Disney princess movies. I knew Keira wouldn’t be able to get away with that for much longer. Edie has probably watched all of them a million times already.

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Cover courtesy of Porter, additional photos by Getty.

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16 Responses to “Keira Knightley admits that her daughter has seen all of the Disney princess movies”

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  1. Erinn says:

    I thought it was so stupid of her in the first place to say that they’d never watch them. You can’t tell another parent that they can’t play a certain movie at their kids birthday, or whatever. It was just such a “I’m better than that!” moment, that it’s really not surprising to me that she ended up caving.

    Hiding age-appropriate pop-culture from your kid isn’t all that sustainable. The better way to deal with it is to just explain why something that is done is wrong so that they understand that’s not how real life should be. It’s going to give them more critical thinking skills than banning things outright.

    • Ali says:

      You serious?

      Parents tell other parents what their kids can or can’t watch all the time.

      Nothing stupid about it.

      • Erinn says:

        So if another parent is throwing a Cinderella or Frozen or whatever themed party, you’re going to go to them and say “You can’t show ____ movie. We don’t let our daughter watch that” rather than just keeping the kid home and sending a gift?

        That seems like a hell of an entitled attitude.

        There’s a difference between saying “my kid doesn’t do well with anything scary” or “I don’t want them playing violent video games” and expecting someone to cater to your child for a situation like what I described.

      • TheRealEmbo says:

        Totally Agree Erin. I have had parties for my kid and sometimes kids aren’t allowed to come, but it would be absurd for someone to say “my kid can’t watch Frozen (or whatever) and so you can’t show it” just keep your kid home if you are afraid of the lack of control of sending them out into the world. but eventually, you won’t be able to stop it.

    • Lyli says:

      A lot of us have high expectations of what we want and don’t want for our kids. Then as reality kicks in, things can change. I definitely had the same experience as her, saying “I won’t do XYZ”. Then I did.

      • Erinn says:

        Yeah, that’s the only reason I found it kind of stupid of her to go on record about. Never speak in absolutes, especially when kids are SO unpredictable.

      • Caitrin says:

        I take your point about absolutes. With Kid 1, I was so absolutely sure she’d grow up eating only homemade baby food and without screen time. By Kid 3, food pouches and iPhone videos were not out of the ordinary (work and my mom’s estate gave me a sharp dose of reality!).

        Right now after nearly four weeks at home during a stay at home order, all three kids are watching Netflix (in French, at least, since they can’t go to school) in their pajamas.

        New parents often make lofty pronouncements couched as absolutes. I don’t think it makes her ridiculous. She was just hellaciously naive about parenting.

  2. Tila says:

    She has really grown on me in the last couple of years.

  3. Eleonor says:

    Women and money.
    Still we have to feel guilty, or greedy.
    I remember asking my collegues about their salary, because I have a LOT more responsabilities than those two put together, and I wanted to ask for a raise: “the greedy one”.
    I am not greedy, I want a fair salary, it’s different.

    • Anna says:

      Same. Elizabeth Banks said something similar in an interview once. Women are always seen as greedy when they talk about money, whereas that same attitude gets celebrated in men.

  4. Rae says:

    It’ll be interesting to see if the film can pull it off.

  5. Lightpurple says:

    Really looking forward to seeing Misbehaviour.

  6. malorca says:

    I’ve always made more than my partner and it’s bizarre to me that men and women would suggest that he should find that “emasculating”, instead of “f*icking awesome since it allows him to pursue his passions and us to live comfortably and go on great holidays”.

    • Eleonor says:

      I remember the day when my boss wife got promoted, and he was beyond proud and telling everyone his wife was going to be the rich one of the two, and he was glowing.
      That’s the attitude.


    My mother always made more than my father did, which was screwy in the divorce because he ended up making off like a bandit despite all of his actions (he’s an alcoholic, abusive, etc.) I think my mom pushed me to be independent but definitely had an anti-man streak. Up until recently I felt very guilty about making less than my husband, but I suppose if I really cared, as a writer I wouldn’t have married an engineer! My husband is now in graduate school and I am the sole breadwinner. People make comments ALL. THE. TIME. Teasing him about it and even saying “now you know what it’s like.” People need to STFU

  8. Mei says:

    Love Keira. She always articulates things really well and always seems pretty aware of the world around her. Misbehaviour sounds good, I’d be keen to watch it.