Mary Queen Of Scots director fought for a 'period in a period movie'

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 2 January 2019
Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan

Josie Rourke admitted that in 'Mary Queen Of Scots' she felt it was important to include themes surrounding "women's bodies" and "women's pleasure"

'Mary Queen Of Scots' director Josie Rourke had to fight to include a "period in a period movie".

The filmmaker admitted that in her latest historical drama – starring Saoirse Ronan in the titular role and Margot Robbie as Scottish queen and Elizabeth I respectively – she felt it was important to include themes surrounding "women's bodies" and "women's pleasure".

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, she said: "I was fighting for a period in a period movie, those were instructive discussions about how honest we were being about women's bodies and what they do, women's pleasure and what that is, and a queen's body as a political canvas.

"I felt that was something I hadn't seen before, that I just really wanted to show."

The 46-year-old director insisted that although many female viewers won't be able to relate to the film's story of two royals fighting for the throne, they would understand a narrative about fighting "for the rights of our bodies".

She added: "There are not many of us who know what it feels like to be a crowned head of Europe – but what we do know is what it's like to fight for the rights of our bodies."

Rourke went on to explain that although the scenes were included in the end, she still believes that showing periods in film needs to be normalised.

She said: "We need to show this stuff. It does need normalising. A journalist asked me how hard it was to shoot the scene where Mary has her period, and my answer was, 'Not hard at all!'

"There were six women in that room, and it was probably the thing that just most easily staged itself. But it does continue to freak some people out."

Mary Queen of Scots

  • 3 stars
  • 2018
  • UK/US
  • 2h 4min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Josie Rourke
  • Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden, David Tennant, Martin Compston, Joe Alwyn, Brendan Coyle, Guy Pearce
  • UK release: 18 January 2019

Mary Stuart (Ronan) and Elizabeth (Robbie) would like to be sisters but political rivalry drives them apart. Ronan gives a sophisticated performance and Robbie as Elizabeth is a blend of nervous uncertainty and confident outrage. Over the top, perhaps, but its ridiculousness hits a raw nerve in the current political…

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