Keira Knightley says Miss World comedy 'Misbehaviour' is a 'pretty timely' feminist tale

Tom Beasley
Contributor

Keira Knightley has said her upcoming comedy movie Misbehaviour is a “pretty timely” story about feminism in the 1970s, set around an infamous edition of the Miss World competition.

In an interview to promote her new political thriller Official Secrets, which tells its own tale with modern relevance, Knightley said the new film is every bit as resonant.

Read more: Cast and crew reveal the true story behind Official Secrets

The 34-year-old star will portray historian and feminist activist Sally Alexander in the film, which is being directed by Philippa Lowthorpe, who is best known for her work at the helm of hard-hitting BBC drama Three Girls.

Misbehaviour is about the 1970 Miss World competition,” Knightley tells Yahoo Movies UK.

“At the time, the Miss World competition had the highest number of viewers in the world. It was bigger than the World Cup and it was bigger than the Olympics.

“The Women's Lib protested it and actually stopped the show and managed to throw some flour bombs at Bob Hope. So the film is about that.“

Comedian Bob Hope crowns Jennifer Hosten as the winner of the Miss World 1970 beauty pageant at the Royal Albert Hall in London, 20th November 1970. (Peter King/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The rest of the cast includes Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Jennifer Hosten — the Grenadian beauty queen who won Miss World — as well as Jessie Buckley, Lesley Manville, Keeley Hawes and Rhys Ifans.

Read more: The pattern of faux feminism in blockbuster movies

Greg Kinnear will portray stand-up comedian Hope, who was caught up in the chaos of the protest.

Knightley said: “It's a really interesting one about feminism and hopefully it's a lot of fun as well.”

21st November 1970: The Miss World contest causes a feminist storm as demonstrators invade the Royal Albert Hall where the contest was held. (Leonard Burt/Central Press/Getty Images)

In Official Secrets, Knightley portrays Iraq War whistleblower Katharine Gun, who leaked a memo revealing US/UK plans to influence member states on the United Nations Security Council to vote for war.

Matt Smith co-stars as the Observer journalist Martin Bright, while Ralph Fiennes portrays human rights lawyer Ben Emmerson.

Keira Knightley portrays Iraq War whistleblower Katharine Gun in political thriller 'Official Secrets'. (Credit: eOne/Robert Viglasky)

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and recently had its UK premiere as part of the BFI London Film Festival.

Read more: Knightley has banned her daughter from watching these Disney films

Official Secrets will be released into UK cinemas on 18 October and Misbehaviour is due for release next year.