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Cannes 2011

Cannes 2011

Emily Browning Q&A

The Sunday Times Culture blog

May 2011

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Cannes 2011: Emily Browning

She is in Sucker Punch and the much-talked about prostitute drama Sleeping Beauty, writes Matt Mueller, a film that received notoriety when premiering at Cannes last week. Meet Emily Browning.

How did you deal with the scenes of lying “asleep” in bed while naked old men groped you?
After the first time, it didn’t really bother me; and, in principle, it didn’t bother me, because I just think that people are so weird about nudity and the human body. Sex is not bad, naked bodies are not bad and naked bodies don’t always have to be connected to sex.

Was it hard watching the film in front of a huge crowd in the Grand Lumière?
I was pretty freaked out, just to see everything magnified to that degree. But it ended up being a cool experience. We had a standing ovation, which was the most surreal moment of my life, to date.

Does having a woman director help the film evade charges of exploitation?
When I was promoting Sucker Punch, I stood by it completely, although there were obviously lines that were more blurred. Whereas in Sleeping Beauty, although my character is objectified, I don’t think there’s anything even vaguely sexist in the movie.

What’s the moral to the story?
I don’t think there is one. It’s a portrait of this girl and her awareness that people are exploited in the world but, as opposed to fighting against that, she’s perversely interested in it and allows it to happen to her.

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