Actress Keira Knightley on picking complex female characters and how the female film audience is underserved by the dearth of interesting female roles:
It is very difficult to find really interesting roles and there are very few, so I feel incredibly fortunate that [Anna Karenina is a role I got to play].Another interesting observation from the same interview: "I think in a lot of modern films, the female characters mainly always have to be likeable." Which is something Melissa Martin and I were talking about on Twitter just the other day.
I think, in general, the female audience is a massive one, and actually it's one that's rarely really tapped into. Everybody is after that very famous and rather elusive demographic of men, age 18-24. Well, actually, I'm not in that demographic and I want to see women who are complex and strange and people who I can relate to and be terrified of and want to be and all the rest of it.
So, I guess, as an actor, that's what I'm looking for: those people that interest me the most.
It's not just in the movies, that, either, is it? There is an extraordinary amount of pressure on women to be uncomplicated and likable in real life, too.
Bitch is really just a slur that means a woman who wants possession of her full humanity.