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Keira Knightley reveals why she accepted leading role in ‘Boston Strangler’

The movie’s co-stars, Keira Knightley and Carrie Coon, were drawn to the story’s focus on barrier-breaking female audacity.

The movie’s co-stars, Keira Knightley and Carrie Coon, were drawn to the story’s focus on barrier-breaking female audacity.
Pascal Le SegretainGetty Images

Keira Knightley and Carrie Coon are set to star in the ‘Boston Strangler’ as two journalists who work to uncover a string of deadly crimes across the city of Boston in the ‘60s. The duo explained they were drawn to the story because it focuses on two female journalists who were brave enough to help solve the murders.

‘Boston Strangler’ is to be released on Hulu on March 17.

The ‘Boston Strangler’ breakdown

Matt Ruskin’s ‘Boston Strangler’ focuses on the two female reporters. Loretta McLaughlin, played by Knightley, is the first journalist on the case, with Jean Cole, played by Coon, joining her to solve the murders.

In the real-life crime, 13 women were killed, as is to be shown in the film.

Why take on the complicated true story

While at the film’s premier at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Knightley and Coon explained why they took on the roles in the true story about the Boston Strangler.

“It’s really interesting that you have such a famous case, where largely in the public consciousness the women have been taken out,” Knightley said. “It felt really interesting to me to do a story that is about a serial killer, that is about violence against women, and show that through the eyes of women.”

“Particularly with this case, because it was a case that was largely ignored by the male establishment and it took two female journalists to really raise it up and to show how important it was to try and get the community of Boston to understand what was going on and protect themselves.”

“I thought all of that was an interesting angle in a genre that can be seen as gratuitously violent — a way to kind of address it from a different perspective.”

Females pushing back

Knightley and Coon were also attracted to their roles as crime-solving journalists because they could relate to the way the women in the story break barriers in a male-driven workplace.

“I don’t think there’s any woman anywhere who hasn’t been underestimated in their career,” says Knightley. “It’s been really interesting talking to women who have seen this film, they’re using the word cathartic.”

It’s because I don’t know a woman who doesn’t understand what all of this feels like,” the 37-year-old actress continued, “whether that’s being underestimated in their career or a woman who’s trying to do the impossible thing of juggling a family and a career at the same time.”


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