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Kate Beckinsale And Brian Cox On Why The Underworld Franchise Was Groundbreaking For Women

Speaking at the Toronto International Film Festival, where she was attending the premiere of her new film “Prisoner’s Daughter,” Beckinsale explained that the concept of a woman leading a franchise that combined action and horror like “Underworld” wasn’t an easy sell when it was first pitched to studio executives.

“I do think that at the time when I made that movie, there was a lot of quite worried conversations about ‘It’s a female lead. Will anyone go for it?'” she recalled. “I’m aware that those are not conversations that are being had at all in the same way now. It’s normal. Young girls are now very used to there being female-led action movies and superhero movies.”

Appearing with her at the festival, Beckinsale’s co-star in “Prisoner’s Daughter,” esteemed Scottish actor Brian Cox, chimed in that Beckinsale’s central role in the “Underworld” series helped chip away at the film industry clichés about women and their “traditional” roles in movies.

“She was certainly a groundbreaker in that way,” said the “Succession” star. “That was key, and that’s very important in shifting the parameters of how we deal with women in cinema. That’s become so much more sophisticated and so much truer. They’re not just adjuncts, which for a long time they were. There were great films and there’s great actresses, like Katie Hepburn and what have you, who certainly you would never describe as an adjunct … The climate was so tough for those women, and [Kate’s] helped smash that climate.”

“Prisoner’s Daughter” premiered last week at the Toronto International Film Festival. The “Underworld” films can be streamed online at Prime Video, Vudu, and other platforms.



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