Jessie Buckley thinks the new film Women Talking is a ‘conversation starter’

Irish actress Jessie Buckley hopes her next film, about a group of women from a religious colony struggling with their faith after a series of sexual assaults, will inspire debate.

The American drama titled Women Talking, which stars Buckley alongside Claire Foy, Ben Whishaw and Frances McDormand, was written and directed by Sarah Polley.

Based on the novel by Miriam Toews, the film will show the group of women who debate whether to stay in their remote Mennonite community and forgive their abusers or leave.

Claire Foy, director Sarah Polley, Ben Whishaw and Jessie Buckley attend Women Talking during the BFI London Film Festival (Yui Mok/PA)

Arriving for the film’s UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival, Buckley, 32, told the PA news agency: ‘I don’t think it’s gender specific, it’s not just for women , I hope it’s not just for women.

“I think it’s a talking point and something that can be debated and rethought in 10 years.

“I really feel like in the few festivals we’ve been to, that’s just the beginning and actually what this movie is about is really what it’s about after it ends and that’s really exciting .”

Speaking about working with the cast, which also included Rooney Mara and Judith Ivey, award-winning actress Olivier Buckley added: “It was brilliant, it was amazing.

“We were so lucky, there wasn’t a single bad egg and when you’re dealing with this kind of material, we just laughed.

“We would come back to the room and chat and drink wine and have fun.”

Women Who Talk - BFI London Film Festival 2022

Claire Foy attends the premiere of Women Talking (Yui Mok/PA)

Foy, who starred as Queen Elizabeth II in the first two seasons of The Crown, said working on the film was “magical” and in particular she praised writer-turned-director Polley.

She told PA: ‘I think I got her and it was during the height of the lockdown and I met Sarah on zoom and she’s a really unique person in the sense that she’s incredibly generous and open and honest and eager to learn.

“I think a lot of directors are the complete opposite of that, telling you what they want, telling you what they need, trying to impose their opinion on you and she just wasn’t like that at all.

“Even the casting process, that’s what she did, she really thought about who she was putting in her film, what she wanted the story to be, I really trusted her and that s is translated as being on the set.

“Everyone in this movie, the least important part was themselves and I think that’s what Sarah feels about filming, she wants to get out of it and I just knew she was a person really special to be around.”

Women Who Talk - BFI London Film Festival 2022

Ben Whishaw (Yui Mok/AP)

Similarly, Whishaw, who plays Q in the James Bond films, said he “loves” Polley and attributed his screenplay to his involvement in the project.

“It was incredibly moving and I felt like I had never read anything like it before,” he told PA.

“It was difficult, beautiful and important, it was really, really obvious from the minute I wrote it that I wanted to do it.

“Although it is set in this fairly closed religious community, it is about being a woman, freedom and integrity, many things that still resonate with us in today’s world, all over the world.

“Given the subject of the film and the type of change that I think the film encourages us to hope for, men need to be part of this discussion…it can’t be just for women and I don’t think it will be. . .”

Women Talking will be released in the UK on February 10.

About Debra D. Johnson

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