Skip to main content

Thandie Newton joins women's protest, recalls exploitation

By CNN Staff
February 15, 2013 -- Updated 1220 GMT (2020 HKT)
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
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1239 GMT (2039 HKT)
Sean Connery says "yes," whilst David Beckham says "no." See what the famous are saying about Scotland's referendum.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1710 GMT (0110 HKT)
On September 18, Scots go to the polls to vote on the future of their country. Here's what you should know.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1720 GMT (0120 HKT)
This is "Flames of War," a slick and ominous new video from the ISIS media center.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
For years, Morten Storm moved between two worlds. A radical Islamist turned double agent is lifting the lid on some of the world's best-kept secrets.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 0038 GMT (0838 HKT)
A man abducted alongside killed U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff tells CNN that no one from the U.S. government has tried to talk with him.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1508 GMT (2308 HKT)
Mulatu Astatke is the founding father of ethio-jazz: a fusion of Ethiopian music with western jazz.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
Have you been to these? The global museum list, released Tuesday, ranks 25 of the world's best museums.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1703 GMT (0103 HKT)
iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, comes with new features that you'll enjoy.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
The Ebola virus, very deadly and currently without a cure, is fast-spreading throughout the small West African country.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
It's a surfer's paradise -- but Diah Rahayu is out on her own when it comes to professional women's wave-riding in Bali.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1004 GMT (1804 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT