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
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2010 GMT (0410 HKT)
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)
The U.S. and several Arab nations carried out airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, intensifying the campaign against the militant group.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 1645 GMT (0045 HKT)
A mysterious Chicago fire and possible suicide attempt causes massive disruption in the U.S.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 1503 GMT (2303 HKT)
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0154 GMT (0954 HKT)
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0910 GMT (1710 HKT)
Emma Watson lent her name and her glittery profile to the cause of feminism at the United Nations.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1127 GMT (1927 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