Skip to main content

Thandie Newton joins women's protest, recalls exploitation

By CNN Staff
updated 7:20 AM EST, Fri February 15, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Actress is part One Billion Rising campaign to raise awareness of violence against women
  • She recalled being exploited early in her career

(CNN) -- British actress Thandie Newton, who joined crowds of demonstrators in London on Thursday to protest violence against women, said she knows the feeling of exploitation and humiliation from the "kinds of things I was expected to do in auditions."

Newton recalled one incident as a teen, when she was exploited in a "casting couch" style interview, which she said many young actors can be forced to endure.

"There was one horrific incident where I went back for a second audition," she said. "The director asked me to sit with my legs apart; the camera was right positioned where it could see up my skirt."

Newton said the director told her to "put my leg over the arm of the chair, and before I started my dialogue, think about the character I was supposed to be having the dialogue with and how it felt to be made love to by this person."

Three years later, Newton -- who was then married -- learned from a conversation with a producer at Cannes Film Festival in France that the director had used the video to entertain guests during late-night parties.

The London native has since starred in such films as "The Pursuit of Happyness" and "Mission Impossible II."

On Thursday, she was apart of the throngs outside Parliament in support of a campaign called One Billion Rising that seeks to raise awareness of the attacks that women routinely confront.

CNN's Max Foster contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:35 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
The possibility of pockets of air remaining within the hull of the sunken South Korean ferry offers hope to rescuers -- and relatives -- say experts.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
Despite hundreds still missing after the sinking of a South Korean ferry, reports of text messages keep hope alive that there may be survivors yet.
updated 12:14 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 5:31 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Russia's propaganda worse now than at height of Cold War, says Leon Aron, director of Russian studies at AEI.
Sanctions imposed against Russia are working as a deterrent, President Barack Obama and other White House senior administration officials said.
updated 12:40 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
A lack of progress in the search for MH370 is angering the families of victims.
updated 11:09 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
The searches for the Titanic and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 share common techniques.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 11:35 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
This year's Pyongyang marathon was open to foreign amateurs.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 1:53 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
How are police preparing for this year's 26.2-mile marathon, which takes place Monday?
updated 1:02 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Katrina Karkazis
Romance is hard, for anyone. For people with intersex traits, love poses unique challenges.
updated 5:26 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
The "kill switch," a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015.
updated 6:28 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
ADVERTISEMENT