In 2009, Keira Knightley teamed up with Joe Wright, who also directed her in Atonement and Pride and Prejudice, to create a free ad for Women’s Aid. The extended ad aired in U.K. theaters before feature films and was later promoted for TV with posters that featured actresses such Anna Friel, Jemma Kidd, and Fiona Bruce with bruised faces.
Featuring an Inception-like plot, Knightley portrays an actress in the ad: In the initial scene, she is seen leaving a set and arriving home to an abusive spouse. She is then verbally and physically abused when her attacker accuses her of having an affair with one of her co-workers. Upon the first throw, Knightley yells out to an invisible director that these actions were not agreed upon—they weren’t in the “script.” But no one calls for the scene to end. The camera pans out to reveal that Knightley never really left the set, but that doesn’t make the punches any less devastating.
Please consider posting one of Grey London’s campaign posters (included below) to your Instagram as a #tbt in honor of the millions of women who aren’t just acting. There are women who go through these horrors everyday—”Isn’t it about time someone yelled cut?”
All images c/o Women’s Aid, London Grey