Welcome to ‘Feminism’, the latest series of ‘Dior Talks’ podcasts, hosted by Justine Picardie. ‘Dior Talks’ creates fascinating spaces for expression, exploring the imaginations and discourses of the artists and thinkers who influence Maria Grazia Chiuri. ‘Feminism’ engages in dialogue with the women who have inspired the Creative Director of Women’s collections and taken part in bold, empowering collaborations with the House. An exceptional roster of guests shares the magic of their thinking and the key moments of their careers with biographer and journalist Justine Picardie.
This episode finds actress Felicity Jones talks about the huge changes which have taken place in the worlds of theater, film and television in the last few years, with the advent of the #MeToo movement and the increasing challenge to patriarchal structures. Through her more than twenty-five-year career, Jones has seen a revolution in gender politics across the board and has been witness to the exposure of the misogyny which she herself has experienced in the industry. She and Picardie also discuss women in the history of literature, both in drama and prose, and how long it has taken film and television to catch up with the central role which female characters have always had in the culture and canon.
Felicity Jones was born in Birmingham in 1983, to an advertising executive mother and journalist father. She started acting at age 11, in an after-school workshop run by Central Television. At 14 she was starring in the TV series The Worst Witch and had a long-running role in the BBC Radio 4 soap opera The Archers. She has starred in many major television productions in the UK, as well as in the USA, and has appeared in numerous stage plays, including at the Donmar Warehouse and Royal Court Theatre. In 2011, she won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Festival and has also been nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards, the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes. In 2018, she starred in On the Basis of Sex, a biography of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Here, Picardie and Jones get to the heart of the female experience of the world of acting. Picardie is a longtime admirer of the actress’s work, and their conversation travels from industry dynamics, the frustrations of working on an all-male set, the snail’s pace of the industry’s promotion of women’s leading roles and the changes and challenges which Jones has seen and overcome. They delve into the problematic notion of male genius and its erasure of historic female collaboration, and they discuss the remarkable life and career of Bader Ginsburg. The actress is a fan of Maria Grazia Chiuri and has worn her creations for Dior many times, and at many key events in her career. As she herself puts it, Chiuri designs clothes which a woman “can wear down the pub”, an apt expression of the feminism and freedom which fashion can nurture.